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For Saturday qualifying the rain started just before the start of Qualifying 1 with the quickest part of the session during the opening laps. Unfortunately Raoul had a spin on the opening lap and the time he re-joined he was the fastest car on the circuit but only qualified 11th due to the times set of start of qualifying. For Qualifying 2 Raoul was the quickest driver on circuit throughout the session and secured pole position. Saturday Race 1 the circuit was dry and Raoul made great progress on the opening laps. But made a mistake and touch the kerb on exit resulting him hitting the barriers. He was able to carry on, but damage to the car stop his progress and climb back into top 15 despite his car suffering the ill-effects of the damage. Sunday Race 2 started behind the safety car due the heavy rain. From Pole position Raoul Owens initially held the lead , Raoul made a small mistake and allowed Alex Albon to get past. Raoul finished in 2nd position. Raoul Owens "The start was not too bad but I braked too early before turn 1 so I lost a bit of time there. Albon was just very quick and because of the spray he could pull away. We got the qualifying sorted which has been a bit of my problem so I am very happy with my first podium this year". Next Round of the NEC is at Nurburgring on the 18th - 21st September.
Bright Spark Ventures-backed racing driver Raoul Owens will return to the Formula Renault 2.0 Northern European Cup (NEC) for a second season in 2014 after today, Friday, 24th January, agreeing a deal to remain at leading British squad Mark Burdett Motorsport. Continuing the successful partnership which delivered regular top six performances and a maiden podium at Spa-Francorchamps last year, the 19-year-old from Pembury in Kent is determined to mount a consistent front-running challenge in one of Europe’s premier junior single-seater classes. In addition to his full Formula Renault 2.0 NEC programme with Lincolnshire-based Mark Burdett Motorsport, where Raoul will team-up with reigning BRDC Formula 4 Champion Jake Hughes, the now Europe-based driver is also set to contest selected races in Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 and Formula Renault Alps. “It’s fantastic to have our 2014 deal confirmed, I’m really pleased to be staying with the guys at Mark Burdett Motorsport and I’m confident we can have a great year together”, he said, “We gelled really well last year and I’m looking forward to working closely with Andy Miller [race engineer] and Robbie Kerr [driver coach] again, we made big strides last season. “With a strong team-mate like Jake [Hughes] on board I’m confident we’ll be able to push each other on and mount a strong challenge. We proved last year Mark Burdett Motorsport can produce a car capable of regularly running at the front, the aim this year has to be to try and fight for the podium every weekend and then see where we are at the end of the season.” Beginning his racing career in karting, Raoul won the 2007 Rotax Max Regional Championship in South Africa before moving up to European and World level. Debuting in single-seater car racing in Protyre Formula Renault in the UK in 2011, he remained for a second season the following year and then made his points-scoring Formula Renault 2.0 NEC bow at Spa-Francorchamps. Paving the way for graduation into the Northern European Cup full-time last year, the British-born racer put together an impressively strong first pan-European campaign which he wrapped-up ninth overall in the championship. He also debuted in the flagship Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 series in Barcelona, Spain, for the final weekend of the season. Monza in Italy, a new circuit for Raoul, will be the venue for the opening event of the 2014 Formula Renault 2.0 Northern European Cup (NEC) on 12th/13th April. From there, the series will visit Silverstone in the UK, Hockenheim in Germany, Spa in Belgium, Assen in The Netherlands and Most in the Czech Republic. The finale will take place on 20th/21st September at Germany’s Nurburgring.
Top British racing prospect Jake Hughes is preparing for his first season of international car racing after joining Mark Burdett Motorsport for the 2014 Formula Renault Northern European Cup. After a thorough winter testing programme with three different Formula Renault teams, 19-year-old Jake has plumped for the Skegness, Lincolnshire-based Mark Burdett Motorsport, which has a long history of success in the category. Team Principal Burdett has assembled a very strong team in recent seasons, with former Stewart and Jaguar Formula 1 engineer Andy Miller as Chief Engineer, and 2002 British Formula 3 Champion and A1GP race winner Robbie Kerr as driver coach. The seven-round Formula Renault NEC series includes five events on Formula 1 circuits, four of which support the prestigious Blancpain GT series. Kicking off at Monza in Italy on 12th/13th April, it then visits Silverstone on 24th/25th May, before rounds at Hockenheim (Germany), Spa-Francorchamps (Belgium), Assen (Netherlands), Most (Czech Republic) and the Nurburgring (Germany). Hughes is aiming to follow in the footsteps of fellow Britons Jake Dennis and Matt Parry, who left the British scene to win the Formula Renault NEC title as rookies in 2012 and ’13 respectively. “NEC nowadays is a natural progression from a national championship in the UK,” said Jake, “and Jake and Matt have gone on to have great success from doing it.” “I can learn the European tracks – including quite a few Formula 1 circuits – and learn the 2.0-litre Formula Renault car in a competitive championship against some of Europe’s best young drivers. It looks as though some of my F4 rivals will be moving into Renault NEC too – I had fun racing them last year and I’d like to come out ahead of them again this season!” Of the decision to join Mark Burdett Motorsport, Hughes added: “I felt most at home with Mark’s team. They’re great people and, with Andy Miller and Robbie Kerr on board, I expect to have a great chance of winning the title.” “I will miss racing full-time in Britain but the tracks in the NEC are great, and they’re mostly circuits where you will need to race in the future in international series. Also, Blancpain is the biggest GT series in the world with a lot of professional drivers and manufacturer involvement, so it will be great to be in the same paddock as influential people in the sport.” Jake, who is a member of the MSA Academy and BRDC Rising Stars initiatives, also hopes to contest some Formula Renault Eurocup rounds as a wild card entrant, with a view to moving full-time into that series in 2015. “NEC is the best for learning,” he said, “but the Eurocup is one of the hardest championships in the world to win, so it would be great to get some experience of it in 2014.” Mark Burdett is delighted to have secured Hughes for the coming season. “I followed Jake through his Formula 4 season, and he went very well in winter testing with us,” he said. “I’m very pleased that he’s chosen to join our team.” “Jake is ideal for what we want to achieve: we know he’s a potential race winner and from that we will look to be successful in the championship. He’s worked very well so far with Andy and Robbie and within our team environment.”
With only a week from the last round at Spa francorchamps, the team headed straight to the TT Assen circuit in the Netherlands for race weekend 5 of the North European Championship 2.0 on the 3rd /4th August. Warm and hot conditions for Friday free practice, with the1st session Raoul finished in P9 and Andres in P25. For free practice 2, the team work on strategy for race and save a set of new tyres for the race on Raoul car and Raoul finished in P21 and Andres P25. With Track temperatures still high for qualifying, the team made set-up changes and both cars where in group 2 for qualifying. An excellent lap from Raoul had qualified him in 2nd position, but was relegated to 4th in group (Grid P8) due to setting his fastest lap under yellow flags and Andres P11 in group (Grid P22). For Saturday Race 1, Raoul had a competitive race to finished P8 and Andres P20. A large crowd of 40,000 watches Sunday race 2 with Raoul finished in P7 and Andres P20. If was good solid points over the weekend for Raoul and Andres laps times improve during races. The team is now working hard during the break, with testing at Zandvoort on the 6th/7th August in preparation for the race in October. The next event on the NEC calendar at Most in the Czech Republic across the weekend 31st August and 1st September. Provisional 2013 Formula Renault 2.0 Northern European Cup Standings (after Rd11): P8 Raoul Owens, 95points. P33 Andres Mendez 21 points.
Raoul Owens secures his first category podium at Spa francorchamps round of the NEC Formula Renault 2.0 Championship supporting the TOTAL 24 Hours of Spa. The unpredictable spa weather started as usual with the 1st free practice a wash out and 2nd free practice started in dry sunny conditions. An accident for Raoul in 2nd practice on first lap resulted in no running and Andres finished P10. A wet qualifying in group 2 for Raoul ended with P3 with a time of 2m43.24 seconds and Andres P10 2m46.63 seconds. Overall gird for Race Raoul P5 and Andres P19 Friday Race 1, Raoul moved into the top four on the opening lap, Raoul soaked up immense pressure from Andrea Pizzitola, but had to give best on the third lap, Raoul moved back into 4th when Andrea was given a drive though penalty for Jump start. Andres made great progress on the opening laps moving into 13th position until two cars collided into the bus stop and Andres was collected by the spinning car. Saturday Race 2, which took place in tricky drying conditions, Raoul moved into fourth off the start and avoided the incident between the leaders to gain 2nd position. On the end of Lap 10 Raoul made the slightest mistake which enabled Andres Pizzitola to edge past and Raoul finished in an excellent 3rd position to claim his maiden podium. Andres moved forward in race to finish in P15. The next event on the Formula Renault 2.0 NEC calendar, the fifth race meeting of the campaign at Assen in The Netherlands, on 3rd/4th August. Provisional 2013 Formula Renault 2.0 Northern European Cup Standings (after Rd9): P8 Raoul Owens, 68 points. P32 Andres Mendez, 19 points

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