KIERAN Vernon claimed his maiden victory in the Formula Renault BARC Championship at Brands Hatch on Sunday.
West Chiltington racer Vernon raced to a richly deserved success and was a landmark win since graduating to the ultra competitive Formula Renault series at the start of the season. He joined Dino Zamparelli as a first time winner over the two races at the Kent circuit.
With overtaking notoriously difficult for ‘slicks and wings’ single-seaters on the 1.2-mile Brands Hatch Indy track, and with little to choose between the front-runners, Vernon headed a Fortec Motorsport podium lock-out in the first race of the weekend ahead of Josh Webster and Archie Hamilton – the top three remained unchanged throughout from their grid positions.
Vernon was on pole by just .005 seconds, and after an aborted start, he led the grid away in style, dealing well with pressure from Webster and Hamilton.
After the safety car came out, Vernon managed to increase his advantage slightly to just over a second during the final few laps and on the 17th tour he posted the new lap record of 45.427seconds (average speed of 95.72mph).
Disappointment unfortunately followed for Vernon in the second race of the day, the fourth round of the championship, though when his throttle stuck open when heading down from Druids into Graham Hill Bend – leading to a heavy impact with the tyre barriers and an instant retirement.
“Today I’ve felt every emotional”, he said, “The first race was perfect, it was great to take my first win of the season. I was going really well in the second race but then my throttle stuck open at Graham Hill Bend and there was nothing I could do to stop from slamming into the tyre wall.”