The Team Pyro driver was 0.547 of a second clear of team-mate Lorcan Hanafin when it came to fastest lap times which decide the first of tomorrow’s two races at the Northants circuit.
Burton’s time establishes a Clio Cup Junior qualifying lap record around Rockingham…
Hanafin was again Burton’s nearest challenger when it came to second fastest laps (to determine race two’s starting grid order), the gap between them this time 0.413s.
Third fastest for both grids on his JamSport Racing team’s home circuit was Louis Doyle while a frustrated fourth having topped the earlier morning free practice session was the championship leader, Specialized Motorsport’s Nic Reeve.
Burton said: “I’m a bit surprised by the size of the gap to the rest – hopefully I can bang in two laps like that at the start of both races tomorrow to give me the break I need.
“The trick will be to make the most of the tyres in the early laps – after that, because of the higher temperatures suddenly and the fact that Rockingham is so abrasive, they can begin to overheat which leads to understeer.”
Tomorrow’s two races, rounds three and four of 2018’s UK Clio Cup Junior championship, take place at 10:30 and 15:10 and both are of 20 minutes’ duration.
Qualifying: Round 3, Renault UK Clio Cup Junior, Rockingham
1. Gus Burton (Pyro Motorsport), 1m37.462s (avg. 71.65mph)
2. Lorcan Hanafin (Pyro Motorsport), +0.547s
3. Louis Doyle (JamSport Racing), +0.787s
4. Nick Reeve (Specialized Motorsport), +1.266s
Qualifying: Round 4, Renault UK Clio Cup Junior, Rockingham
1. Gus Burton (Pyro Motorsport), 1m37.604s
2. Lorcan Hanafin (Pyro Motorsport), +0.413s
3. Louis Doyle (JamSport Racing), +0.686s
4. Nick Reeve (Specialized Motorsport), +1.181s