The result was a real ‘icing on the cake’ moment for the Northampton-based squad, now in its third season in the championship.
And admitted Team Principal Jamie Going: “It’s an amazing feeling. I was close to tears. Finally all that hard work is starting to pay off. To go out there and show people that we are 100 per cent committed with a result like gives me a massive sense of achievement.
“For everyone in the team, too. It gives them all a lift – they’ve had a taste of it and now they want more. They even enjoy packing the truck now!
“It also shows how as a team we have evolved. The structure of the team is pretty much the same as it was, say, 12 months ago. But now we’ve got more experience and an understanding of the cars and how to find the sweet spot. You cannot walk into this and do well without those things.”
Indeed before this year JamSport had still to achieve a podium finish in the UK Clio Cup, but the signing of Ant Whorton-Eales who nearly won 2015’s crown has been a real coup. His win at Snetterton was his sixth of the season and the sixth in total to date for JamSport. The fact team-mate Luke Kidsley followed him home for that 1-2 was a bonus but there are other factors to consider here.
JamSport is now the only team to achieve a 1-2 so far in 2016 – not even the mighty Team Pyro has managed that this season. Furthermore the 1-2 in race two gave JamSport a perfect score of 60 points towards its tally in the Entrants’ championship.
This in turn has moved JamSport up to second in the Entrants’ table and catching Pyro is still a possibility – the gap between them is 117 points with a maximum of 360 available from the remaining six races.
Kidsley’s qualifying form will have also registered with the rest of the pit lane as will the fact he backed that up with his very strong race pace. In addition new signing Chris Smiley’s very obvious promise on his debut meant for the first time three JamSport cars started a race from inside the top six on the grid.
Kidsley’s form, it should be remembered, was in a car that JamSport had had to work hard to repair after he had rolled it during testing on the Friday.
Going said: “That didn’t make life easy for us but again our experience in not getting into a panic showed and we calmly and methodically got on with the job to make the car right again for qualifying on Saturday.
“During qualifying I was also very pleased with the way we reacted as a team to the changing track conditions. We timed it to perfection as far as Luke and Chris were concerned and only just missed out with Ant in terms of being on track when conditions were at their very best for the tyres.”
Clearly the relationship between JamSport and Whorton-Eales – very much in the hunt for the drivers’ title – is strong. It even led to ‘AWE’ testing a British Touring Car during the summer break for Team HARD with which JamSport has sporting ties.
Going added: “Ant is an asset to us. But I believe we’ve been an asset for him as well – we’ve removed some of the stresses for him in terms of preparing the car which enables him to concentrate more on his driving.
“Now we’ve got here we want to stay here and that is the next step for us – being able to sustain that form with all our drivers at the sharp end. Can we catch Pyro? It will need some luck – there’s a good reason why they’ve won as many titles as they have – but it won’t stop us trying.”