|Dan Holland Racing’s drivers have put themselves into contention to lift this year’s Euro Max Challenge after a series of encouraging performances at the season-opening Winter Cup, held at Campillos in Spain (10-14 February).|
Despite being debutants on the international stage, Jack Barlow and Jack Dex both left the Spanish circuit as vice-champions in their respective classes. Team-mates George Williams, Ross Wylie, Aaron Head and David Sutton also figured strongly. Unfortunately, Ryan Denton contracted a severe throat infection, preventing him from taking part in the racing.
Formula Renault racer Sutton almost completed a sensational return to karting in the senior final and vied for a podium place. In a close-fought run to the chequered flag, he was running in 3rd place but a last lap tangle dropped him to an eventual 5th.
“It was very satisfying to see him come back and be so fast and competitive. Hopefully it’s whetted his appetite for some more outings – if he can fit them around his Formula Renault UK commitments.”
Having won the senior pre-final, Ross Wylie was another DHR driver vying for overall victory. A slight mistake cost him a podium place, but Dan remained upbeat: “It was another good European performance from Ross and had this been the opening round of the Euro Max, he would have left as the championship leader.”
Arguably causing the biggest shock of the weekend was Aaron Head’s “coming of age” - as his team boss put it. After making it a DHR 1-2 in the pre-final (by finishing behind Wylie), Aaron’s stellar weekend came undone in the feature race. He was looking good for a top 10 finish, until an over-optimistic overtaking manoeuvre by another driver knocked him off the circuit.
“It was a disappointing end to a great performance,” rued Holland. “But on balance, he was outstanding.”
“First time out, at this level – 2nd was brilliant!” was how Dan summarized Jack Dex’s drive in the final. Showing bags of character to overcome technical problems in qualifying, mixed fortunes in the heats and a crash in the pre-final, Jack drove around the problem of a far from perfect kart and showed that he will be a factor in 2010.
In the junior ranks, Jack Barlow’s first appearance in Europe was met with much anticipation and he didn’t disappoint. “Jack drove perfectly all day,” Dan observed. “It was a tough race for him, but he stuck to his guns and showed experience that he doesn’t actually have. He was the talk of the paddock after winning the pre-final and had he not been held up in the final, I think he stood a good chance of winning.”
Jack’s team-mate, George Williams also starred. “He was 7th on the grid for the main final and looked capable of bringing home a top 6 finish. Unfortunately he was a little too cautious and finished in 11th but I saw superb potential and he’s very positive and excited after Campillos.”
Recognising the vital contribution from the team’s engine partner, Dan said: “I can’t thank Tim and Steve at Ogden Motorsport enough. They played a pivotal role in our success and share our ambitions for many, many more.”
DHR has a limited number of spaces available for the Euro Max Challenge, commencing (24-28 March) at Salbris in France.
To discuss these racing opportunities and to arrange a track test on the race-winning 2010 Alonso kart, call Dan now on 07960 047810 or email email@example.com
You can also keep up to date with the team’s latest news and results by visiting www.danhollandracing.co.uk