Rory Green reckons it’s a case of when – not if – it all clicks for him in this year’s Renault UK Clio Cup as he looks back on his season so far in which there’s rarely been a dull moment…
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Green is one of a number of aspiring young talents to have come into the Clio Cup in 2015 and with WDE Motorsport and three-time Champion Paul Rivett as a team-mate he is in an ideal environment in which to progress.

Ah, the best laid plans… Pre-season the 20-year-old from Kent suffered a big crash in testing at Thruxton and the after-effects would linger for some time.

“It was 114mph head-on into the barriers exiting Noble out the back – I’d allowed inexperience on slick tyres in the damp to catch me out. The car was totalled. Financially it was a very bad mistake,” admitted Green.

“The fast stuff had always been a strength of mine but that definitely shook my confidence and I needed a few times in the car again to start to feel my way back in – by then we were already a couple of meetings into the season.”

So it was a shaken and slightly stirred Green who arrived for the season’s opening race at his home circuit of Brands Hatch where there were mixed emotions.

“I pulled off my best move of the season so far – George Jackson was ahead going into Paddock Hill Bend but I got the corner bang on and sailed past him on the exit. A textbook, clean move,” he added.

“But then I had some contact with (Rory) Collingbourne at the same corner which put me sideways and off the track. It probably looked good on telly and in some photos but didn’t do me any favours!”

Donington Park, Thruxton, Oulton Park and Croft were to follow in similar vein as Green experienced more ups and downs as he continued to rebuild his confidence following that scary pre-season shunt.

“Bear in mind as well that Thruxton, Oulton and Croft – I’ve never seen the places before this year and Donington I went into qualifying a ‘blind’ as I’d missed the official test day because of exams,” he continued.

“The second race at Donington I actually span to the tail of the field on my way to the grid but took up my original starting position – against the rules. That got me a drive-through penalty so when I’d served that and caught back up to Graham Field I went for the move. And went off. Anger had got the better of me. But I was much more settled in race three and by the end of it felt I’d started to get to grips with the circuit a lot better so was content with that.

“Thruxton was very much about overcoming a psychological battle because of my crash there. I never got properly into contention but at least I kept improving all the time through qualifying and both races. That was important because it could have been a big problem.

“At Oulton, Jackson proved to be my downfall a bit! In qualifying he’d gone off and pulled mud all over the circuit at Cascades. Jack Mitchell went off on the infield and nearly had a big one and when I hit it I went off, too, only in the other direction and whacked the barriers. The team did a top job repairing the car but just three corners into race one I was in trouble – I ran into the back of Mark Howard at the hairpin and later got a verbal warning, although I did feel it was because Jackson had swerved over and forced me onto a kerb under braking. I wasn’t happy about that… I’m not going to lie.

“At Croft I simply struggled with the fast stuff out the back so after a chat with the team decided to be more aggressive for race two. I got a good start and was up alongside Jackson and Paul Donkin heading to the first bend on the cleaner, faster outside line. I waited for Jackson to brake so I could out-brake him but he then out-braked himself and I had nowhere to go but straight into the gravel. I was pretty angry with myself for that.”

So, just over three weeks before the action resumes at Knockhill, Fife and Green is clearly happy that fellow youngster Charlie Ladell – currently seventh in the standings – has re-joined WDE for the remainder of the season.

He said: “We always pushed each other in Ford Fiestas and he is perhaps a more realistic benchmark for me than Paul at this stage. Overall, though, I’m happy with how everything has gone. The team always does a fab job and the car is always in amazing condition for me.

“I’m still getting my head around some of the Clio Cup race car’s traits but have some testing time coming up at Snetterton which will help. Towards the end of the season we’ve got Rockingham, Silverstone and Brands Hatch GP – all circuits I’ve done before. I’d like to think I can get into that midfield lot very soon. Things sometimes take a bit of time, but I know it’s a case of when, not if, it clicks and I think we’re on the verge of that. I certainly know I’ve got the car to do the job…