Young moves into championship lead with Pembrey race one victory

Jack Young dominated Renault UK Clio Cup Junior’s opening race at Pembrey to take his and his MRM Racing team’s maiden win in the category and with it the championship lead…
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Lorcan Hanafin lined up on pole position but stalled his Team Pyro car at the start, eventually setting off ten seconds behind the leaders.

This left Young, starting alongside on the front row of the grid, with a clear run to the first corner, Hatchets Hairpin, and, once negotiated, he was quickly into his stride and away from his pursuers.

His winning margin in the end was over three seconds and he also set the race’s fastest lap for two bonus points.

Behind, Pyro’s Gooding came through the opening lap shuffling to establish himself in second – a position he would hold to the finish for his first podium result in the championship.

With one of his trademark fast getaways, WDE Motorsport’s Connor Grady initially held third position until passed mid-distance by JamSport’s Ethan Hammerton and Pyro’s Max Marzorati.

These two then spent the rest of the race fighting over third with Hammerton taking the position in the end by just 0.383s. Grady was fifth while Hanafin, just three seconds further back, completed the top six following a determined recovery drive.

Seventh, eighth and ninth were JamSport trio Gus Burton, Louis Doyle and newcomer TJ Rodriguez. Burton had briefly been as high as fourth on the opening lap but a tangle with Hammerton caused him to fall back down the order.

He and Doyle then provided plenty of entertainment with their battle for sixth until both were passed by the recovering Hanafin.

Burton had led the standings coming into the weekend but the race’s result means Young has now taken over at the top on 126 points from Marzorati on 117. Burton is third, just one point further back.

Young becomes the fourth different winner in five rounds so far. He commented: “Lorcan stalling really gifted it to me – if you look his lap times and mine were very even and I think it would have been a big fight if he’d got away cleanly. I just made sure I took full advantage of the fighting behind to make a break and in the closing laps I was able to back off and take it relatively easy.”

Gooding said: “I’m happy with that – a podium in only my third race in the championship and with a lot less running than most of the other drivers. I think the second race will be tougher though – Lorcan is on pole again and I don’t expect he’ll stall this time and Max will be starting in front of me as well.”

Hammerton added: “Max and I had a really good scrap and it was hard work keeping him behind but every point is going to count so it was important I did what I could to keep him behind. The contact with Gus on the first lap probably cost me a shot at second as well…”

Pembrey’s second Renault UK Clio Cup race will take place at 16:00. The grid will read: Hanafin-Marzorati-Young-Hammerton-Gooding-Grady-Doyle-Burton-Rodriguez.

CLICK HERE for race result.