Solid Assen points enable Owens to retain championship top eight

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Mark Burdett Motorsport’s Raoul Owens continued his impressive points scoring momentum in the Formula Renault 2.0 Northern European Cup (NEC) at Assen in The Netherlands over the weekend, 3rd/4th August, to maintain eighth place in the driver standings – just five points shy of the top six.

Raoul Owens at TT-Assen, NL

Scoring solid points this weekend keeps me up there in the championship. I’m really excited for the next races actually, the whole team is excited, as we’re moving forward and we know the sort of things we need to do to improve

Posting a best finish of seventh in round 11 on Sunday, having taken eighth position in Saturday’s encounter, the Cape Town-domiciled Briton was strong throughout the event, which was attended by a crowd of 40,000 spectators, and especially so in qualifying trim where he was in sparkling form.

Lapping second fastest in his group, equating to fourth on the grid for the opening race, the series rookie was disappointingly relegated to eighth place when officials declared his quickest lap of the session to have been set under yellow flags.

Having a big impact on his undoubted podium potential, Raoul also battled some set-up issues in the first race but did a good job to take a competitive top eight finish. Holding position early on, he did slip to ninth on the second tour but hit back to reclaim the place at the midway point.

“We had a good qualifying session, second fastest in my group was great, but they [the officials] said my best time was done under yellow flags,” reflected Raoul, “I had a good start to the first race, I was crowded out at the first corner, though, and we struggled for pace early on. By the time the car was up to speed, it was too late to do anything.

“The same happened in race two, we just went too far in the wrong direction with the set-up for the conditions. It was hotter for the races than it was during practice and qualifying, about 34 degrees [Celsius], and we just didn’t quite get it right.”

The weekend’s second encounter on Sunday was slightly more fruitful with seventh position for the 18-year-old Pembury-born racer. Running in sixth place after the opening lap, Raoul unfortunately fell behind Andrea Pizzitola at one third distance and thereafter remained in seventh.

Able to pull comfortably clear of Jakub Dalewski over the final few laps, the Bright Spark Ventures-supported racer secured more essential championship points to add to the outstanding haul he took at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium a week ago – where he also claimed his maiden podium.

“We’re definitely heading in the right direction,” added Raoul, “It’s hard doing all of the set-up work yourself when you’re battling teams with as many as eight drivers who are all sharing data, and we have got a few things to learn still, but we’re definitely in the top four or five of the regular guys.

“Scoring solid points this weekend keeps me up there in the championship. I’m really excited for the next races actually, the whole team is excited, as we’re moving forward and we know the sort of things we need to do to improve.”

While a month’s break from racing is now underway, Raoul and his UK-based team will be back on track this week with some vital testing at famous Dutch track Zandvoort. From there, team and driver will prepare for 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):
8th Raoul Owens, 95pts

Note to editors: Copyright free images of Raoul Owens attached for editorial use; please credit Chris Schotanus/Essay Produkties where used.

Website: http://www.raoulowens.com
Twitter: twitter.com/raoul_owens
Facebook: facebook.com/RaoulOwensRacing

Media Contact:
Marc Orme
Tel: +44 (0)7920 886985
Email: marc(at)marc-orme(dot)co(dot)uk / marcorme1(at)aol(dot)com

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