Harper-Ellam bags brace of wins after he bounces back

Ryan Harper-Ellam leads in the second race at Snetterton NNL-180515-113454002
Ryan Harper-Ellam leads in the second race at Snetterton NNL-180515-113454002

Having suffered heartbreak in the season opener at Oulton Park, Ryan Harper-Ellam gave his SR1 Cup Championship aspirations the perfect shot in the arm.

The Brackley driver won both outings during round two at Snetterton.

What a perfect weekend, I couldn’t have dreamed for better after what happened at Oulton

Ryan Harper-Ellam

Harper-Ellam was the star of the weekend in Norfolk, securing twin pole positions before beating changing conditions to convert them into twin wins – his maiden victories in the SR1 Cup.

The SR1 Shoot-out winner timed his qualifying run to perfection, opting to pit under a safety car period before rejoining the track in clean air to pump in two laps good enough for the top spot in both of Saturday’s races.

Championship leader James Pinkerton lined-up alongside him with SR1 newcomer Chris Preen and Will Hunt sharing the second row.

Harper-Ellam nailed the throttle as the lights went out to slot ahead of Pinkerton into Riches. With two cars battling behind him, Harper-Ellam surged into a comfortable lead, Pinkerton pushed hard to repeatedly set the race’s fastest lap but fell short of catching the front runner.

With one success already in the bag, Harper-Ellam was well placed to do the double from a similar position in race two.

Harper-Ellam again shot away as Preen shuffled past the slithering Pinkerton. Ollie Wilkinson tried to chase Harper-Ellam until the safety car was called to clear the stricken car of Will Hunt.

The race restarted for a single-lap dash to the flag. Harper-Ellam held his nerve to judge the restart nicely to secure his dream double. Wilkinson initially took second but was later penalised back to fourth for being out of position at the start of the race, Preen was promoted to second with Pinkerton taking third place.

The results mean that Pinkerton now leads Harper-Ellam in the title chase by 27 points heading into round three at Silverstone next month.

Harper-Ellam said: “What a perfect weekend, I couldn’t have dreamed for better after what happened at Oulton. In race one I did a lot of the hard work at the start and got a bit lucky with the battling behind me, and from then on I just managed the gap and tried to look after the tyres.

“Race two was a tricky one. Again I managed to get a good gap straight away but the track was pretty slippery and I had to exercise a bit of caution.

“I was gutted when the safety car appeared as it destroyed my lead. I just had to keep my head for that final lap and not do anything stupid.”