Friday, 8 February 2013

MGR Returns to Protyre Formula Renault

MGR's team has steered many teams to success over the years, 2013 should be no exception

Protyre Formula Renault (Formerly Formula Renault BARC) Championship front-runner Chris Middlehurst (St. Helens), second year competitor Tom Oliphant (Tarporley, Cheshire) and series newcomer Matteo Ferrer (Ipswich) are the first three drivers confirmed for MGR Motorsport’s 2013 assault on the 16-round season.

With plans to field a four car squad currently in advanced stages, as the Bardon team continues discussions regarding its final vacant seat with a number of drivers, MGR is delighted to confirm its first three signings.

Middlehurst enjoyed a strong debut season in Protyre Formula Renault last year, ending the main campaign ninth overall with two podiums to his credit before going on to mount a strong challenge in the Winter Series where he took two further rostrums from the four races contested.

The 18-year-old, son of former racer Andy Middlehurst, will certainly be a championship challenger this season and will be aiming to secure his maiden race victory in the category. His best result so far of second place came during the opening weekend of the 2012 Winter Series.

Oliphant, like Middlehurst, will be embarking on his second season in Protyre Formula Renault this year and the 22-year-old will be hoping to continue where he left off with Leicestershire-based MGR during the final event of last November’s Winter Series.

After a difficult main championship campaign, Oliphant moved to the Mark Godwin-led team for the Rockingham rounds of the Winter Series and showed a marked improvement by achieving a career best finish of seventh place.

Protyre Formula Renault newcomer Ferrer, who is of Venezuelan, German and Italian heritage, had no previous karting experience prior to his motorsport debut last year in the now defunct InterSteps Championship but developed significantly as the season wore on.

Ending the year eighth overall in the driver standings, Ferrer is now preparing for a major step-up in competitiveness  and has already made a strong impression on MGR team principal Godwin during initial winter test outings.

"I watched Matteo develop during the 2012 Intersteps Championship, and was really quite impressed considering his complete lack of experience”, said Godwin, “From what I saw during our winter testing in Valencia, I believe we can look forward to a very competitive year. Tom has looked strong in winter testing and we’re confident he’s going to have a good season, he did a great job with us in the Winter Series considering how much he had to adapt to the new car and team.

“We’re very confident Chris will be challenging up at the front from the off, what he achieved last year was very impressive – especially towards the end of the main season and in the Winter Series. We’re sure, with our determined and structured approach, that Chris will be a strong contender.”

Rounds one and two of the 2013 Protyre Formula Renault Championship will take place on 13th/14th April at Donington Park National Circuit in Leicestershire – MGR’s home track. Before then, teams and drivers will take part in the official ‘Media Day’ at Silverstone on Thursday, 21st March.

Commenting on MGR’s signings, championship promoter Simon North said: “MGR is obviously one of the most competitive and well run teams in Protyre Formula Renault and we’re delighted Mark [Godwin] has confirmed three drivers already for the new season. Knowing a fourth car is also highly likely with the team is fantastic news for the championship.”

Along with headline sponsor Protyre, Formula Renault is additionally supported by Michelin, The Lubricant Consultancy, Petronas Syntium and NGK Spark Plugs.