He’s so 007! Whorton-Eales pips Price and Pidgley to top Silverstone free practice

Ant Whorton-Eales left it until the final lap of the day to set the fastest time of all in the Renault UK Clio Cup’s free practice sessions at Silverstone in which the top 18 drivers were covered by less than a second.
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With less than a minute to go in Friday’s second session the JamSport driver banged in a best time of one minute, 04.933s to take the top spot away from Team Pyro’s Josh Price by just 0.007s.

Ciceley Motorsport’s Ollie Pidgley was third overall with his best time of 1m05.033s which had been good enough to put him at the top of the order entering the closing stages. This was by far Pidgley’s best showing to date during a Friday test session…

Team-mate Max Coates was fourth ahead of BMR/Pyro’s Senna Proctor, WDE Motorsport’s Charlie Ladell and Pyro’s Mike Bushell in seventh.

Bushell leads the championship going into this weekend’s two races with Whorton-Eales his nearest challenger, 20 points behind. Coates is third overall with WDE’s Paul Rivett the only other realistic title hope in fourth.

Whorton-Eales, who won here last year, said: “That’s a good start considering we don’t always show that strongly on Fridays. But tomorrow’s qualifying is going to need something else – people will find more speed when it matters most.”

A “minor car issue” meanwhile kept Rivett back in 17th place in today’s free practice in which everyone set their best time in the second session – despite it being halted briefly after Cooksport’s Shayne Deegan had a harmless moment at Copse Corner.

Heavy rain had meant the start of this morning’s session needed to be delayed and shortly after it got under way there was a red flag stoppage when Finesse Motorsport’s Paul Streather crashed heavily at Copse Corner.

Streather was soon seen back in the paddock – albeit with a limp – but his car suffered severe damage and unfortunately he looks almost certain to be ruled out of competing now at Silverstone…

That session had also been headed by Whorton-Eales with the returning James Colburn second fastest for the PP Motorsport team. However he wound up 12th fastest outright when drivers set their fastest times in the afternoon. Ben Davis, making a one-off appearance for Team Pyro, was an excellent ninth…

CLICK HERE for today's free practice times plus sector and speed trap analysis.

CLICK HERE for the championship positions heading into this weekend's two races at Silverstone.