Driving for the SV Racing team Ant Whorton-Eales won the season’s opening race at Brands Hatch after taking the lead at the very last bend. Team BMR Restart with Pyro’s Ashley Sutton was second and his team-mate Ash Hand third as the three of them flashed across the line separated by just 0.508 of a second – the closest top-three finish ever recorded in the Clio Cup.
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That was almost equalled a fortnight later at Donington Park which hosted three races. In the first of them Sutton achieved his maiden Clio Cup race win from Whorton-Eales with 20Ten Racing’s Jordan Stilp next up – the top three this time covered by a mere 0.513s. Pyro’s Brett Smith in fourth was himself only 0.618s behind winner Sutton it should be noted!
Hand retired from that race but bounced back immediately with victory – his first in the Clio Cup – in the next one ahead of Whorton-Eales and WDE Motorsport’s triple champion Paul Rivett. Whorton-Eales won Donington’s third race from Sutton and SVR’s Jack Mitchell.
Furthermore Whorton-Eales set the fastest lap in all three races at Donington. In the first one his best time shattered the previous record and he went even faster in race two. The bonus points he scored for those as well as his two wins and two second places from the opening four rounds therefore mean he holds a tidy lead over Sutton at the top of the championship standings heading to the next two races at Hampshire’s high-speed Thruxton circuit on the weekend of Sat 9 / Sun 10 May.
See www.barc.net to order tickets – the event also includes the latest rounds of the Dunlop British Touring Car Championship.
Also see the new www.renaultsport.co.uk website’s Press Centre section for all the latest Clio Cup news, results, points and team/driver profiles.
Meanwhile the Clio Cup has announced both its top two finishers in 2015 will win much sought-after prize tests with the Motorbase BTCC race team. The Clio Cup’s reputation for producing the best touring car drivers was reinforced at Donington as 2015 runner-up- Josh Cook almost won in only his fourth race in the BTCC.
Four of the drivers in the BTCC’s current top 12 after six races – Andrew Jordan, Jack Goff (Champion in 2012), Aron Smith and Sam Tordoff – all came from the Clio Cup. Two more, Jason Plato and Andy Priaulx, are also past Renault single-model racing greats.