WEST Chiltington racer Kieran Vernon put in a highly impressive performance on his Formula Renault debut at Donington over the weekend.
Although Kieran won a scholarship to race in the Porsche Carrera Cup series this year, he was unable to raise the necessary financial backing, so found another drive back in single seater action in Formula Renault.
And aside from a couple of laps of a congested Brands Hatch, it was his first outing in the new Fortec car, so a tenth and second place finishes made for a highly satisfactory weekend.
Kieran said on twitter: “Great first weekend in Barc renault. Great to get a podium! Roll on Brands.”
He qualified for first race in tenth which was disappointing, but mechanics found the car had serious tracking problems, so the team changed that set up to improve.
So on to race one with greater straight line speed and a slightly different turn into corners, Kieran unfortunately clipped a kerb on lap two and spun at 200kmph. He had improved to seventh before the off, but was now back in last place, 22nd. Kieran caught the field within three laps and a determined drive saw him finish where he started, in tenth.
The second of the qualifying sessions saw Kieran qualify sixth for race two, and before long he was in third, behind teammate Archie Hamilton.
It was a tense and exciting battle as Kieran clearly had the pace, and he eventually squeezed past Hamilton on the inside line into the first corner at Redgates on lap 13.
There were only two laps to go, but Kieran set about chasing down the leader who had a four second advantage. By the chequered flag, Kieran had cut the lead to just one second but the end of the race had come just too soon for him. It was an impressive weekend, topped off when Fortec team owner Richard Sutton came over and personally congratulated him on his drive.