That podium feeling… Price and Ladell become latest young chargers to spray Renault UK Clio Cup rostrum champagne

For any young career-minded driver, finishing on the Renault UK Clio Cup podium for the first time is an unforgettable experience. Josh Price and Charlie Ladell are the latest to manage it so we asked them about the moment it all starts to sink in…
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Ladell’s maiden podium result came at Donington Park. He crossed the line third but was then elevated to second when the winner, Ant Whorton-Eales, was excluded. It meant a dream 1-2 result for his WDE Motorsport team with team-mate Paul Rivett (second on the road ahead of Ladell) suddenly declared the winner.

A fortnight later, Price managed the feat twice for the Team Pyro squad at Thruxton with second place in race one followed by third in race two. It’s worth considering that Price only came into the championship towards the end of the 2015 season. As well, that he only turned 17 in December… His results at Thruxton plus those of experienced team-mate Mike Bushell (third and then second) meant Pyro had now sprung to the top of the Entrants’ championship…

Price commented: “If I’m honest the podium is where I believe I should have been in the opening rounds at Brands Hatch but it doesn’t always go to plan. When it does finally happen, though, the feeling is just brilliant.

“You’ve taken the chequered flag and on the slow-down lap you start to take it in for about 90 seconds before you come back into the pit lane and parc ferme. What you’ve achieved, why it’s finally happened – and that you’re about to be put in front of live cameras on ITV4!

“The ITV4 coverage makes it ten times better in terms of exhilaration factor but also of course the exposure you’re getting for your own profile.

“I have to say Steve Rider’s hair is amazing. I almost didn’t hear what he was asking me live on air because I couldn’t stop looking at his hair!”

Ladell’s result at Donington had real meaning for WDE – he is very much a protégé of ‘team leader’ Paul Rivett and finally, since first appearing in the championship in late 2014, the 19-year-old got a taste of the podium bubbly.

“There’s huge relief,” said Ladell. “To be anywhere in this championship takes a lot of work and effort behind the scenes – you can see why the best names go on and achieve a lot. They already have the right work ethic.

“It’s knowing that you can do it at such a high level. Then for it to finally happen and live on itv4 – it’s definitely given me more confidence.

“Things take on a different meaning when a podium is at stake. Your mindset changes and in the closing laps at Donington I found myself under attack from Paul Streather. You are able to find another level in terms of concentration and driving. Knowing that is within you when it matters most gives you extra confidence.

“Thruxton didn’t go as well as I’d have hoped for because of some problems in qualifying. But I was still able to take lessons I’d learnt in those final laps at Donington into my racecraft at Thruxton which paid off.”

Price is sure his Thruxton podium results can be the first of many – starting with Oulton Park’s and Croft’s up-coming races in June, even if he has zero experience of either circuit.

He added: “From a driver point of view it’s a real confidence boost. They say that once you get the first one done you then start to feel less pressure and it makes it that bit easier to be back up there.

“Already I can sense my approach on track will be slightly different because I can see what is required to make it happen. And having tasted it for the first time now I want it very badly again!”