The 14-year-old Team Pyro driver set the fastest lap of anyone in qualifying with a time of one minute, 14.544 seconds to guarantee himself pole for the first of Sunday’s two races as just 0.792s covered the top eight.
Team-mate Max Marzorati and MRM’s Jack Young set the second and third fastest times. However Marzorati will have to take a three-place grid drop because of a driving indiscretion last time out at Brands Hatch and this will promote Young to second and JamSport’s Ethan Hammerton to third, although he was only 0.002s up on Pyro’s Harry Gooding in fourth.
On second best times which decide race two’s grid order, Hanafin did it again with a lap in 1m14.725s. As before the order behind was Marzorati, Young, Hammerton and Gooding…
However it was a difficult session for championship leader Gus Burton – the JamSport driver could manage only eighth position on the two grids.
Hanafin, who has now made it five poles out of a possible six, commented: “I’m playing catch up in the championship so this is just what I needed. Hopefully I can keep the lead at the start of tomorrow’s races and then pull away in the lead like I did at Brands Hatch.”
Young, currently third in the standings, said: “That was a decent enough session – it’s important to be starting at the front. I think we also have good consistent pace so I think we’re looking in good shape for the races tomorrow.”
But Hammerton, fastest in the two earlier free practice sessions, was disappointed with his pace. He explained: “I feel that one got away from us a bit – after two laps the car’s handling deteriorated. Maybe we went wrong on the tyre pressures – we need to take a look.”
Although he will drop to fifth on race one’s grid, Marzorati, second in the standings, will keep his second place on the grid for race two. He said: “We seem to have good pace and I think there are a few places around here to get a bit inventive and go for the overtake…”
Sunday’s two Renault UK Clio Cup Junior races – rounds five and six of the championship – take place at 10:40 and 16:00.
Qualifying times, Round 5, Renault UK Clio Cup Junior, Pembrey
1. Lorcan Hanafin (Team Pyro), 1m14.544s
2. Jack Young (MRM), +0.278s
3. Ethan Hammerton (JamSport), +0.407s
4. Harry Gooding (Team Pyro), +0.409s
5. Max Marzorati (Team Pyro), +0.120s (with 3-place grid penalty)
6. Connor Grady (WDE Motorsport), +0.600s
7. Louis Doyle (JamSport), +0.739s
8. Gus Burton (JamSport), +0.792s
9. TJ Rodriguez (JamSport), +2.003s
Qualifying times, Round 6, Renault UK Clio Cup Junior, Pembrey
1. Lorcan Hanafin (Team Pyro), 1m14.725s
2. Max Marzorati (Team Pyro), +0.125s
3. Jack Young (MRM), +0.158s
4. Ethan Hammerton (JamSport), +0.298s
5. Harry Gooding (Team Pyro), +0.313s
6. Connor Grady (WDE Motorsport), +0.579s
7. Louis Doyle (JamSport), +0.690s
8. Gus Burton (JamSport), +0.697s
9. TJ Rodriguez (JamSport), +2.137s