After ten races it is Ant Whorton-Eales who leads the championship for racing versions of the stunning Clio Renault 220 Trophy model. That’s chiefly thanks to his stunning run of five wins in the season’s first half (two at Donington Park, two at Thruxton and another one at Oulton Park).
However just before a lengthy mid-season break the JamSport driver saw his advantage cut to just three points by Team Pyro’s returning Champion Mike Bushell at Croft.
Another former champ Paul Rivett can count himself unlucky not to be a lot closer to Whorton-Eales and Bushell at the top of the table – 32 points closer in fact after losing a seemingly certain second win at Croft when his WDE Motorsport car slowed while out in front.
His misfortune was Max Coates’s gain – the Ciceley Motorsport driver swooping in to take his first race victory in the championship. He is now up to fourth and challenging third-placed Rivett with other winners this season, Cooksport’s Lee Pattison and Finesse’s Paul Streather, close behind in fifth and sixth.
Snetterton, with two long straights but also a tight technical infield section, is therefore going to be all-important in terms of who can carry over momentum or indeed suddenly find form as the season enters what is always a crucial stage.
After Snetterton’s rounds come two more apiece at Rockingham, Northants (27-28 August), Silverstone, Northants (17-18 September) and Brands Hatch Grand Prix (1-2 October). As ever each round takes place at a Dunlop British Touring Car fixture with plenty of the action being shown live on ITV4.
Keep an eye on the @UKClioCup Twitter and Facebook pages for a chance to win tickets.
Likewise the Renault Sport UK website for all the latest UK Clio Cup news, results and race build-up and also to order tickets for events.
Whorton-Eales from Lichfield commented: “I’m expecting things to get quite a bit tougher when we get going again at Snetterton – in fact the signs of that started to show at Croft where everyone seemed to up their game. Mike and Paul are both very experienced and going to try and make life as tough as possible for me but I feel ready for them.”
Bushell said: “I’m hoping to play to my biggest strength and that is qualifying – front row starts for every race and that always gives you your best chance of winning or the podium at least. I certainly need to be beating Ant more in the season’s second half.”
And added Rivett: “We need to keep our momentum from Croft going at Snetterton and take points out of Ant and Mike. The gap is 50 points which might sound a lot but this is the UK Clio Cup – anything can happen and it normally does.”