Pattison, Streather aiming for resurgence in form in closing rounds

The title might have gone for the season’s first two winners Lee Pattison and Paul Streather but both men are fiercely determined to remind people of their pace in the Renault UK Clio Cup’s final two fixtures at Silverstone and Brands Hatch.
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Streather’s season got off to a perfect start with a lights-to-flag victory in round one on the Brands Hatch Indy circuit. It backed up the stunning form he’d shown on his debut in 2015’s season finale at the Kent venue for the Finesse Motorsport team when he almost out-fumbled new Champion Ashley Sutton…

Second to him in round one was step brother-in-law Pattison (see main photo) who then went one better the following day with a win – the first in the UK Clio Cup for the Team Cooksport squad.

Leaving Brands it meant that Pattison led the standings with Streather in second… Remarkably since then Pattison has managed just one more podium result while Streather’s win at Brands remains his only top-three finish to date in 2016.

Heading to Silverstone’s forthcoming penultimate rounds (Sat 18/Sun 19 Sept) Pattison is fifth in the standings and could in theory still become Champion but knows that in reality the gap to the leaders is too great. Streather is sixth but needs to watch out for Ladell plus Pyro youngsters Josh Price and Senna Proctor who have been closing in.

Pattison commented: “It’s like the Brands Hatch round one jinx struck again – if you do well there then it goes wrong for the rest of your season! Look at Daniel Rowbottom – pole for his debut there and it was all over for him at the first bend.

“On saying that we were very strong again at Donington with a second place and we were right in the hunt again in race two there until I went spinning after that contact with Ladell. At Thruxton we were robbed of another second by fuel surge in the late stages while race two was all about damage limitation after the tangle in qualifying with my team-mate (George Jackson) had put me way back on the grid.

“I’d say it was second free practice at Oulton Park where things started to go wrong. I just lost the feeling with the car and we’ve not been able to get it back since. There’s just a lack of front-end bite and it’s meant we’ve not been qualifying on those first few rows where you need to be. In the races we can come through but by then the leaders are gone.

“Let’s just see at Silverstone. I’ll be treating that event and Brands as test sessions effectively for 2017.

“Silverstone is good for me – it’s where I got my first win in the UK Clio Cup in 2008. Brands GP? All sorts can happen in the final rounds. But I will be racing anyone I come up against as hard as normal, whether they are in the title hunt or not.”

Streather believes his relative lack of experience with the current UK Clio Cup car – particularly in warmer weather conditions – has been a factor.

He said: “As the season has evolved we’ve definitely been lacking something with the car – it’s my first season at this level and also Finesse’s first season with the latest generation car.

“It’s a big learning curve but things seem to have coincided with the temperature going up. People are telling me not to get disheartened, though – they know when we get things right we can take on anyone.

“We’ve also been unlucky on the way. I was really ill at Oulton and almost parked it; I was that sick. I still wasn’t right at Croft but managed to come through the pack twice for some good results – in fact the drive there from 14th to sixth, on a circuit where passing is really tough, I think is my best so far.”

He added: “I really want us to come back strong at Silverstone and show what we can do – hopefully at Rockingham last time out we started to get back in the right direction with the car even though the results didn’t show it.

“Brands Hatch GP is my favourite circuit in the world and that showed in what we achieved there last October when we had a great scrap with Ashley Sutton for the win. Then it was a one-off outing so I actually went a bit easy on him; I might not be quite so kind this time around…”

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