Calado signs off with a win at Brands

Fond farewell
Fond farewellJames Calado bids farewell to his Fortec Motorsport colleagues after rounding off his two year spell in Formula Renault UK with a win at Brands Hatch today

Sunday, 04 October 2009

James Calado - still smarting after missing out on the 2009 Formula Renault UK Championship - signed off his two year stint in the series with a dominant lights-to-flag win in the second race at Brands Hatch today.

The RSF driver, who earlier in the day had been forced to settle for second place in the title race, also set fastest lap to claim a new lap record for the Grand Prix circuit.

Calado had trailed championship winner Dean Smith by 25 points heading into the weekend's two-race finale determined to make up lost ground in race one and take the title fight all the way to the wire.

But a late stewards' decision to disallow his pole-winning lap from Saturday's first qualifying session demoted him to ninth place on the grid. The action -  for an adjudged yellow flag misdemeanour - also wiped out any realistic chance of maintaining a viable title challenge.

Eighth place in the first race - which Smith won - sealed his fate.

But come the second race, Calado - this time starting from an uncontested pole position - set out to prove his superiority, converting P1 to 2009 win number eight in emphatic style.

The RSF man was almost five seconds clear of second placed Lewis Williamson before easing off on the last lap to take the chequered flag 3.8 seconds clear of the field.

Fastest in free practice, fastest in both qualifying sessions (stewards' decision aside), fastest man around the GP circuit - bar leaving with the title, what better way to bid farewell to Formula Renault?

"I needed to win that after losing the championship this morning," said the new Vice Champion. "I was really pumped up for it and knew if I got a good start I could control everything from the front, which I did.

"I set a couple of fast laps and then just paced myself, looked after the tyres, made sure I didn't make any mistakes and won. I'm obviously really disappointed about not winning the championship but congratulations to Dean.

"Having said that it's a shame I had pole position taken away from me for the first race because if I'd have won that I think that would have set things up for a fantastic battle in the last race.

"But starting from ninth there wasn't much I could do. I got up behind Stoneman (in seventh place) on the first lap but although he wasn't as fast as me, once I was in his dirty air I just lost masses of grip. So mounting a serious challenge was virtually impossible.

"I did have one serious go heading into Druids but unfortunately it didn't come off.

"Still, it's been a brilliant year and I'd just like to thank everyone at Fortec for doing such a fantastic job for me and the Racing Steps Foundation. A big thank you too to the Foundation for backing me and to Renault for organising a great championship.

"I've really enjoyed my two years in the series. It's been great experience."

Calado - who notched up eight wins, 10 pole positions, 12 podium finishes, seven fastest laps and six record laps over the course of the year - now aims to move on to compete in the British Formula 3 International Championship.

Formula Renault UK Championship: Rounds 19&20, Brands Hatch (GP)

Round 19 Results (15 laps)
1 Dean Smith (GBR), Manor Competition, 21:04.346 (98.26mph)
2 Oli Webb (GBR), Fortec Motorsport, +0.805
3 Jesse Krohn (FIN), Mark Burdett Motorsport, +1.948
4 Lewis Williamson (GBR), CRS Racing, +7.564
5 Euan Hankey (GBR), CRS Racing, +8.242
6 Harry Tincknell (GBR) / G, CRS Racing, +9.967
7 Dean Stoneman (GBR), Alpine Motorsport, +10.419
8 James Calado (GBR), Fortec Motorsport, +10.696
9 Tama's Pa'l Kiss (HUN) / G, Hitech Junior Team +21.899
10 Nick Yelloly (GBR) / G, Hitech Junior Team, 22.018
Fastest lap: Oli Webb, 1:23.475 (99.22mph)
G= Graduate

Round 20 Results (15 laps)
1 James Calado (GBR), Fortec Motorsport, 21:03.833 (98.30mph)
2 Lewis Williamson (GBR), CRS Racing, +3.814
3 Dean Smith (GBR), Manor Competition, +4.267
4 Dean Stoneman (GBR), Alpine Motorsport, +11.455
5 Jesse Krohn (FIN), Mark Burdett Motorsport, +11.782
6 Jordan Oakes (GBR), Hitech Junior Team, +12.369
7 Joshua Scott (AUS), CRS Racing, +16.560
8 Euan Hankey (GBR), CRS Racing, +17.933
9 Oli Webb (GBR), Fortec Motorsport, +21.387
10 Harry Tincknell (GBR) / G, CRS Racing, +23.592
Fastest lap: James Calado, 1:23.139 (99.63mph)
G= Graduate

2009 Formula Renault UK Final Driver Standings
1 Dean Smith 491pts
2 James Calado 457
3 Oli Webb 419
4 Dean Stoneman 418
5 Harry Tincknell / G 323
Includes drop scores ie best 18 scores from 20 rounds

Picture available from Jakob Ebrey Photography

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