22/11/2017

History is made as Jack Young is crowned Renault UK Clio Cup Junior Champion

Belfast’s Jack Young, aged 16, has won the first ever Renault UK Clio Cup Junior title thanks to a stunning champion’s comeback drive in a gripping finale at Brands Hatch.
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Young, a former karting champion, had finished second in the first of two races at the famous Kent circuit to give himself an edge over main title rivals Max Marzorati and Ethan Hammerton going into race two – the last race of the season.

However while Marzorati raced into the lead, Young endured a difficult opening lap and tumbled to seventh spot. As it stood Marzorati was now on course to take the crown but over the next 20 minutes fortunes would change dramatically…

Young determinedly started to charge back up the order and with five laps to go was in fourth and had also secured two bonus points for setting the fastest lap (with a new lap record).

And when Lorcan Hanafin overtook Marzorati for the lead it was effectively all over in Young’s favour. A brave last gasp bid by Marzorati to re-take the lead resulted in him tumbling to fourth behind Hanafin, Hammerton and Young at the line.

It meant MRM Racing driver Young had clinched the title by a scant six points from JamSport’s Hammerton who pipped Marzorati to the runners-up spot by an identical amount. Hanafin, who won both races from pole position at Brands Hatch, finished fourth in the standings. Team Pyro, for which he and Marzorati raced, took the teams’ title.

Renault UK Clio Cup Junior, launched in autumn, has been contested by drivers aged between 14 and 17 in cars near identical to those raced in the senior Renault UK Clio Cup that competes alongside the British Touring Car Championship live on ITV4. Young’s prize is a free registration into the senior UK Clio Cup. The prize is valued at £18,000…

His success at Brands Hatch – witnessed by fellow Northern Irishman and double BTCC Champion Colin Turkington – also marks the first title in UK Clio Cup competition for the small MRM outfit which was only formed two years ago by Mike Ritchie.

“The feeling is indescribable,” commented Young. “It is a massive confidence boost and I’m so happy for everyone who runs this team. To win a title with Renault Sport’s name on it is also a massive deal.”

 

Ritchie said: “To win a big title like this already is a major moment for us – it shows even with a small infrastructure we are a professional set-up capable of delivering the results.”

Meanwhile Turkington had praise for both Young and the Clio Cup Junior concept. He added: “It’s a big achievement to make a bit of history by becoming the first driver to win the first Clio Cup Junior title. There are a lot of very strong drivers on the grid and there’s not a lot to choose between them – whoever comes out on top has definitely earned it and it’s a very good place to learn your craft.”