It is true. Ash Hand’s win in the second of last Sunday’s two rounds at Thruxton was set at record speed for a UK Clio Cup race. His average speed of 99.89mph beat the 99.70mph achieved by Phil Glew – also over 12 laps – on his way to the crown in 2009.
The two are more comparable than at most circuits as well with Thruxton’s lay-out and kerbs having remained effectively untouched down the years. Figure this: Hand covered the 12 laps in 16m58.894 seconds compared to Glew’s winning time of 17m00.795s, but of course he was forced to ‘straight-line’ the chicane on the final lap after his tangle with team-mate Ashley Sutton. What effect that might have had on the outcome we’ll probably never know… Interestingly, second-placed Sutton’s time on Sunday over the same distance was 17m00.961s having gone into the chicane alongside Hand…
Also in the Clio Cup’s record books is Brands Hatch’s opening race of the season as winner Ant Whorton-Eales, second-placed Sutton and third-placed Hand flashed past the chequered flag covered by just 0.508s – the closest top-three finish in Clio Cup history.
But while Whorton-Eales currently leads the championship, he does not lead the laps and miles led chart. That honour falls to Hand who, based on positions across the start-finish line, has 32 out of a 87 laps (73 out of 167 miles) – much of that down to his lights-to-flag double at Thruxton.
Hand also has an unrivalled three wins to Whorton-Eales’s two and Sutton’s one. Hand and Whorton-Eales have three fastest laps apiece (that’s six bonus points each) with Sutton yet to score in that department.
Whorton-Eales and Sutton have five podium results to date with Hand next on four, Paul Rivett two and Jack Mitchell and Jordan Stilp one each.