Jordan Stilp (Potterspury) delivered a career best Courier Connections Renault UK Clio Cup qualifying performance at Croft Circuit this afternoon, Saturday, 28th June, to secure a sensational double pole position start for tomorrow’s ninth and 10th rounds of the season.
Having lapped second fastest in pre-event testing at the North Yorkshire track on Friday, the 20Ten Racing driver was at the sharp end throughout the 30-minute qualifying period and ultimately set the fastest time of the session with a lap of 1m32.196 seconds (82.97mph).
With a second best time of 1m32.427 seconds (82.76mph), the 19-year-old ensured he is in the best possible place to challenge for his maiden podium finish and, possibly, his first ever Renault UK Clio Cup victory in both of Sunday’s races which will each be screened live on ITV4 and ITV4 HD.
“It’s great!”, said an elated Stilp, “We had good hopes but like I said after testing, we had to find a few more tenths to try and be ahead of Josh [Cook]. There are still a few things we’ve got to work on but getting both poles is a great way to thank everyone at 20Ten for all their hard work on the car.
“We’ve been waiting for Croft, we managed to string together a good few fast laps today so hopefully we can try and make a good start tomorrow and pull away. The first corner is always the hardest part, getting through there unscathed is a challenge in itself – if we can be leading after the first corner, hopefully I can stay there.”
Championship leader Josh Cook (Bath) was only a fraction away from claiming the round nine pole position himself, a mere 0.016 seconds shy of Stilp’s best time, while SV Racing with KX team-mate Ash Hand (Nuneaton) was an outstanding third fastest – just 0.3 seconds shy of the front row.
Westbourne Motorsport’s James Colburn (Worthing) will begin the weekend’s first encounter from fourth on the grid, only 0.021 seconds outside Hand’s time and just 0.025 seconds quicker than WDE Motorsport’s Paul Rivett (Banstead). VitalRacing with Team Pyro’s Mike Bushell (Tunbridge Wells) rounded out the top six qualifiers.
Despite an unfortunate spin at the complex into the barriers, which ruled him out of the final 10 minutes, Westbourne’s Devon Modell (Maidstone) managed to cling on to the seventh fastest time ahead of SV Racing’s Ant Whorton-Eales (Lichfield), Pyro’s Lee Pattison (Scholes) and SV driver Alex Morgan (Reading). Whorton-Eales and Morgan had times deleted due to track limits infringements.
On second best times, determining the round 10 grid, Stilp headed Cook by just over a tenth of a second with Rivett a season-best third, Hand fourth, Colburn fifth and Bushell sixth. Whorton-Eales, Morgan, Modell and Pattison complete the top 10.
Round nine of the Courier Connections Renault UK Clio Cup season will get underway at around 12.40 tomorrow, Sunday, 29th June, with round 10 following at approximately 16.20 – both races will be screened live on ITV4 and ITV4 HD with live streaming at www.itv.com/btcc
The Courier Connections Renault UK Clio Cup is additionally supported by ELF, Performance Friction, WP Racing and official tyre supplier Dunlop.
Provisional 2014 Courier Connections Renault UK Clio Cup standings (after Rd8):
1st Josh Cook, 215pts; 2nd James Colburn, 183pts; 3rd Mike Bushell, 175pts
Provisional 2014 Courier Connections Renault UK Clio Cup ‘Graduate Cup’ standings (after Rd8):
1st Josh Cook, 231pts; 2nd James Colburn, 212pts; 3rd Ant Whorton-Eales, 191pts
Provisional 2014 Courier Connections Renault UK Clio Cup ‘Masters Cup’ standings (after Rd8):
1st Lee Pattison, 240pts; 2nd Paul Rivett, 206pts; 3rd Mark Howard, 147pts
Provisional 2014 Courier Connections Renault UK Clio Cup Team standings (after Rd8):
1st SV Racing with KX, 428pts; 2nd Team Pyro, 321pts; 3rd Westbourne Motorsport, 295pts