Ash Hand set the pace in the Renault UK Clio Cup’s opening test session at Knockhill ahead of Team Pyro team-mate Ashley Sutton while points leader Ant Whorton-Eales settled into life with new team Maximum Motorsport with the seventh fastest time.
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Hand posted a best time of 57.092 seconds to eclipse BMR-backed Sutton by 0.188s, but said: “It was hard work to get that time out of the car – it had too much understeer for my liking and we had to make a number of changes during the session.”

Sutton, third in the current standings behind second-placed Hand, added: “I was P1 for a long time and I know Ash made a change which is worth maybe up to half a second. I’ll be trying it in session two.”

WDE Motorsport’s Paul Rivett, who completed the session on one set of tyres, was next up in third with a lap in 57.543s while JamSport pair Dan Holland Thomas Grundy were fourth and fifth to back up a recent strong test at Croft Circuit. Lee Pattison set the sixth best time on his return with Team Cooksport.

Like Rivett, Whorton-Eales was content with his performance which left him 0.682s behind Hand. “The car feels very good out of the box and we’ll just work away at our base set-up,” he said. “There’s plenty more time to come yet.”

Eighth fastest was Cooksport’s Rory Collingbourne in his strikingly liveried car. Ninth and tenth were Charles Ladell and Jack Mitchell in their first official outings this season for the WDE and 20Ten squads. Pyro’s Mark Howard, Cooksport’s George Jackson and WDE’s Rory Green completed the times.