Team Pyro’s David Dickenson (Wicklow, Ireland) secured pole position for rounds one and two of the Michelin Clio Cup Race Series during qualifying at Rockingham’s International Super Sportscar Circuit today, Saturday, 5th April, with Jake Honour (Melksham) claiming double pole in the Road Series.
Dickenson, returning to race in the UK this season after competing in the Eurocup Clio series last year, got his championship bid off to the perfect start by posting a fastest lap of 1m30.975 seconds (76.76mph) to bag the round one pole.
Making it two from two with a near identical second best time of 1m30.977 seconds, the Irishman was the only competitor to break the 1m31 second barrier to see off a close challenge from Total Control Racing team-mates Mike Robinson (Surbiton) and Andy Jordan (Bridgnorth).
“I’m really, really happy”, said Dickenson, “We struggled a little bit yesterday, since Media Day the track surface has changed a little bit so we worked at that and then this morning everything was pretty much spot on. I knew it was going to be close between me and Mike [Robinson] and a few of the other guys.
“Getting back in this car [the third generation 2.0-litre Clio] was like putting on a comfy old pair of shoes really! They’re fantastic cars and it’s great this championship has been launched as there are still a lot of years left in these Clios. It’s great for guys like me who have raced in the Renault UK Clio Cup before and also the younger guys just coming through, you can really enjoy your racing here.”
Behind Robinson and Jordan, who were split by just 0.095 seconds on fastest times, was Pyro youngster Ollie Pidgley (Salisbury) with privateer racer Paul Streather (Hinckley) making a superb debut in his self-engineered Clio with the fifth quickest time – just 0.5 seconds shy of pole position.
Norway’s Tommy Ostgaard rounded out the top six for SV Racing with Maltese driver Jacques Mizzi a career-best seventh for Westbourne Motorsport, 0.184 seconds clear of Finesse Motorsport’s Pete Bennett (Blundeston).
In the Michelin Clio Cup Road Series category, privateer Jake Honour continued his strong affinity with Rockingham – having claimed two wins at the Northamptonshire track last November – by securing the round one pole position 0.4 seconds clear of Westbourne’s former single-seater racer Anton Spires (Milton Keynes).
“It’s a great start to the year, I’m really pleased”, said Honour, “It was a bit difficult early on, we were P2 for a while but then I put in another quick one. I think I’m about four tenths clear on pole, so I’m really pleased with that. The test yesterday really helped, I always seem to do quite well at Rockingham and what we did in the Autumn Cup last year really helped my confidence.”
Rally driver Luke Pinder (Shipley), making his circuit racing debut this weekend in a privately entered race-converted Clio Renaultsport 197 roadcar, qualified third fastest ahead of fellow privateers Nic Harrison (Stretton, Burton-on-Trent), in his CGH Imports.com machine, and local competitor Sarah Franklin (Kettering).
For round two, the upper order of the Race Series grid sees Dickenson ahead of Robinson, Jordan, Pidgley, Ostgaard, Streather, multiple category race winner Luke Herbert (Chichester) in his SRC Recycling Clio and Bennett. In the Road Series, Honour heads an unchanged order.
Round one of the 2014 Michelin Clio Cup Race Series and Road Series will begin at 10.55 tomorrow, Sunday, 6th April, with round two following at 15.10.
Along with headline sponsors Michelin and Protyre, the Clio Cup Series is additionally supported by Ferodo and Safety Devices. The Michelin Clio Cup Road Series is also backed by DNA Tuning.