High-speed Hand tops Thruxton test

Ash Hand set the pace in today’s official Renault UK Clio Cup test at the fastest circuit on the calendar – Thruxton in Hampshire – but only just as Team Pyro team-mate Ashley Sutton was a mere 30 thousandths of a second behind…
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Hand and Sutton were around three tenths of a second clear of Brands Hatch winner Ant Whorton-Eales (SV Racing) with all three of these drivers managing to get beneath Ed Pead’s 2004 race lap record mark (1m23.443s). 

Today’s test was in advance of the Clio Cup’s race event at Thruxton alongside the British Touring Car Championship next month (Sat 9/Sun 10 May). Prior to that comes Donington Park in just over a week (Sat 18/Sun 19 April). 

Hand said: “I could have gone faster – I had to overtake a car near the start of the lap so had to go off line a bit to do that. But it’s nice knowing I could have been faster and still come out fastest of all.

“The circuit is a little bit different now – they’re re-profiled the kerbing at the Club chicane at the end of the lap meaning a slightly different line required.

“But Thruxton is always one of my favourite tracks – it’s fast, flowing and technical and we put all three together really well today.”

After the top three there then followed a 0.7s gap to WDE Motorsport’s Paul Rivett, SVR’s Jack Mitchell and Team Cooksport’s Rory Collingbourne – this trio covered by just 0.085s. Collingbourne’s Cooksport team-mate Charles Ladell was also close to their pace, just 0.211s further adrift. Jordan Stilp was next up for 20Ten Racing.

After his sizeable crash at Brands Hatch last weekend it was also good to see Dan Holland back behind the wheel of a JamSport Racing car. Holland drove the repaired machine of the absent Thomas Grundy and set the tenth fastest time although chose to sit out the afternoon session due to on-going stiffness caused by his Brands shunt.


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