02/06/2016

‘Form man’ Whorton-Eales enjoying being the hunter this time around

Ant Whorton-Eales says he revelling in the fact he’s having to play catch-up in this year’s Renault UK Clio Cup title race as it’s enabling him to think more clearly.
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The JamSport driver has won three of the last four races (no-one else has won more than once so far this season) but mishaps elsewhere mean he is still only fourth in the current standings, some 18 points behind leader Paul Rivett going into this coming weekend’s two rounds at Oulton Park.

“This time last year I was leading and had quite a big margin over the rest but on reflection I perhaps started to drive a bit too cautiously,” he said.

“I prefer this scenario, if I’m honest. You don’t dwell on the championship points and all that matters is winning every race.

“We’re in a situation where we can’t afford to mess about or start getting tactical. All that stuff is totally irrelevant. You think more clearly and are prepared to take more risks which is how like to go about my racing.”

And Whorton-Eales believes he will be stronger at Oulton than at Thruxton where, last time out, he won twice despite it being a circuit he doesn’t rate as one of his favourites.

“To me, from Thruxton onwards we are away – I don’t really have a favourite from the circuits still to come; I like them all,” he added.

“I don’t necessarily believe we have the fastest car out there but we do seem to have found an edge over the others when it comes to race pace. We don’t seem to suffer as much ‘drop-off’ as the others.

“Compared to 12 months ago I’d say I’ve found more consistency in my driving and have improved in qualifying. Look at the tail end of last year – double pole at Silverstone, double pole at Brands GP, then double pole at Brands Indy this year before the exclusion and a pole at Donington.

“I was on pole at Oulton last year and had the double pole there in 2014 as well. It’ll be important to be on the first few rows at Oulton to fight for the win – if you get in front and then drive a semi-defensive line it is possible to hold off the rest if you don’t quite have pace which we saw Rivett do last year.”

Asked who he thinks will be the big threat at Oulton, he replied: “It’s very difficult to say – there are maybe a dozen drivers capable of sticking it on the first few rows of the grid.

“This year has been very weird how fortunes have varied circuit to circuit. For example I expected Pattison to be the man at Thruxton but it didn’t go to plan for him.

“All I know is I’m in a very good place after Thruxton and I'mm going out for two more wins at Oulton.”