29/04/2015

Britain's fastest race track Thruxton next stop for brilliant Clio Cup action

After four pulsating opening rounds the Renault UK Clio Cup moves on to the fastest circuit in Britain – Thruxton in Hampshire – for its next two races on the weekend of Sat 9/Sun 10 May where championship leader Ant Whorton-Eales (Lichfield) will be hoping to stay ahead of his rivals headed currently by Ashley Sutton (Bishops Stortford).
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Once again the Clio Cup will be racing alongside the Dunlop British Touring Car Championship meaning a huge trackside crowd and live coverage of its action on ITV4. After a qualifying session on Saturday, its two 12-lap races will take place on the Sunday – at 11.20am and 3.50pm.

A win at Brands Hatch followed by another victory and two second places at Donington Park have put SV Racing’s Whorton-Eales into a 22-point lead over Sutton as they arrive at Thruxton. Six of those points are bonuses for setting the fastest lap in all three races at Donington – one of them a record.

Indeed it will be interesting to see if, on the softer Dunlop tyre compound being used in this year’s Clio Cup, the championship’s qualifying and race lap records around Thruxton can be beaten. The race lap record dates back to 2004…

Team BMR Restart with Pyro’s Sutton has immediately been super-impressive in his debut Clio Cup season with a win and two seconds at Donington as well as the runner-up spot at Brands Hatch. Pyro team-mate Ash Hand (Nuneaton) was also a confident winner at Donington but he suffered a non-score there as well. Notably he was fastest of all in official Clio Cup testing at Thruxton two weeks ago…

Jordan Stilp (Towcester), Paul Rivett (Epsom) and Jack Mitchell (West Kingsdown) each took a third-place result outright at Donington. 20Ten Racing’s Stilp lies third in the table with he will be keen to improve on a tough time at Thruxton 12 months ago. Meanwhile a victory double at Thruxton would give WDE Motorsport’s triple Champion Rivett an unrivalled number of wins there. SVR’s 17-year-old Mitchell goes to Thruxton on a high after his maiden Clio Cup podium at Donington.

Thruxton marks something of a home event for Bristol-based team Cooksport, owned by 2014 Clio Cup runner-up Josh Cook – now on the British Touring Car grid and who sensationally almost won in only his second BTCC event at Donington two weeks ago. Its young drivers Charles Ladell (Bury St Edmonds) and Rory Collingbourne (Newport, South Wales) could be ones to watch around Thruxton. Similarly fellow youngsters, WDE's Rory Green (Hildenborough), JamSport pair George Jackson (Bedford) and Tom Grundy (Dubai) plus Pyro's Brett Smith (Wellingborough) who menaced the leaders in all three races at Donington.

JamSport’s Dan Holland (Dagenham) is also highly rated and was unfortunate to miss out on a podium opportunity at Donington.

Meanwhile another Thruxton ‘local’ is SVR’s Ben Seyfried (Yeovil) who leads the Masters Cup for older drivers ahead of Cooksport’s Paul Knapp (Farningham) and Mark Howard (Oakham). All three are capable of top ten finishes outright…