In front of a sizeable crowd, seven youngsters took to the challenging Norfolk circuit to raise the curtain on the UK’s newest junior racing category.
With dark clouds looming overhead throughout the 20-minute shootout for top spot, Pyro Motorsport’s Hanafin continued his fine form from earlier in the day when he had set the pace in free practice.
Surging to the top of the times early on, Hanafin was to be twice bumped off of pole position by Young only for the MRM Racing driver to lose his fastest times for exceeding track limits.
As the chequered flag brought an end to the session, Hanafin capped off an impressive run of laps to set a best time of two minutes, 19.468 seconds – ultimately good enough for the first-ever pole position in the category. Young was able to salvage second, a mere 0.148s off behind
JamSport Racing’s Gus Burton enjoyed a consistent session, finishing third while team-mate Ethan Hammerton was hot on his heels in fourth.
Pyro’s Max Marzorati hustled his distinctly liveried car to fifth whilst JamSport’s Louis Doyle and WDE Motorsport’s Connor Grady rounded out the grid in sixth and seventh.
Such is the competitive nature of the grid that all seven drivers were covered by less than a second…
Despite losing out on top spot for race one, Belfast-born Young will start race two of the weekend from pole position after setting the second best lap time of anyone.
Hanafin will join Young on the front row two for race – the pair this time separated by just 0.095s! Burton maintained his front-running potential with the third fastest time. Doyle will line up fourth with Marzorati, Hammerton and Grady rounding out the order for the second encounter.
An elated Hanafin, who is only 14 years old, said: “I’m really happy with that. The Pyro team have done a great job throughout testing so to come to the first meeting of the season and take pole position is brilliant – we now need to convert it into some big results tomorrow.
“Tomorrow is going to be my first-ever race in a car so we will have to see how it goes. I just need to stay calm and smooth. Looking after the tyres over the course of the race distance is going to be important though.”
Young explained: “I’m disappointed to lose out on the first pole position but I will learn from my mistakes. The clouds were getting darker and darker so I knew I had to be on it straight away.
“I’m looking forward to tomorrow. The racing is going to be tight but I’m confident we can score some solid results and kick our championship off on the right foot.”
The opening race of the weekend for the Renault UK Clio Cup Junior Championship is scheduled to begin at 10:10 on Sunday with round two at 16:55. CLICK HERE to follow live timing of both races.
Starting grid, Round 1, Renault UK Clio Cup Junior, Snetterton:
1. Lorcan Hanafin (Team Pyro), 2m19.468s
2. Jack Young (MRM Racing), +0.148s
3. Gus Burton (JamSport Racing), +0.807s
4. Ethan Hammerton (JamSport Racing), +0.855s
5. Max Marzorati (Team Pyro), +0.877s
6. Louise Doyle (JamSport Racing), +0.956s
7. Connor Grady (WDE Motorsport), +0.995s
Starting grid, Round 2, Renault UK Clio Cup Junior, Snetterton:
1. Jack Young (MRM Racing), 2m19.907s
2. Lorcan Hanafin (Team Pyro), +0.095s
3. Gus Burton (JamSport Racing), +0.425s
4. Louis Doyle (JamSport Racing), +0.630s
5. Max Marzorati (Team Pyro), +0.744s
6. Ethan Hammerton (JamSport Racing), +0.979s
7. Connor Grady (WDE Motorsport), +1.054s