13/12/2016

Top ten season review: No.6 Josh Price – a wise head on young shoulders

It’s fair to say that had the first half of the 2016 Renault UK Clio Cup season gone like the second for Josh Price then the youngster may well have been looking at a better result than the sixth he eventually earned in the final standings.
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Consider that 158 of the 286 points racked up in the end by the 17-year-old Team Pyro driver were achieved in the last eight races of the 18-race calendar.

Six podium results were achieved in total – three of them coming in the last four rounds alone. A sure sign if ever there was one that Price will potentially be among the title favourites should he return in 2017…

Thruxton, the most daunting of circuits, was where it all really got going for Price. He’d never raced at the fearsome high-speed Hants track before yet took to it like a duck to water with only seasoned pros Ant Whorton-Eales and Mike Bushell out-scoring him that weekend as he achieved podiums in both races there (second place and then third).

Another would come his way at Croft where he even led for a brief while. When the season resumed at Snetterton he again showed star potential with a drive from 11th to fourth. Two top sixes followed at Rockingham which, in turn, were followed by a third at Silverstone (and it could have been two podiums at the F1 venue were it not for a pit lane drive-through penalty).

Then came the season finale on the famed Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit and Price emerged from the weekend the biggest scorer of all. He led most of the way in race one before finishing in second after three-time Champion Paul Rivett came by in the closing moments.

But in race two there was to be no denying Price a maiden first race victory in the UK Clio Cup – he was in the right place at the right time to take advantage of the well-documented tangle in front of him between Rivett, Whorton-Eales and Bushell and from there coolly edged clear of the rest for the win.

It completed an impressive run of results that enabled the Redbourn racer to rise from ninth in the points table after Snetterton to sixth overall. In the end he was just six points adrift of fifth-placed Lee Pattison – again, consider with six races to go that had been 70 points!

Pyro Team Principal Mark Hunt, who has overseen title-winning success for the likes of Ashley Sutton, Mike Bushell, Josh Files and Jack Goff in recent times, has clearly been left impressed by Price’s performances.

“Josh has learnt how the others race and it is something you have got to learn – being faster isn’t good enough on its own,” says Hunt.

“He’s really got his head around it which does take a bit of time for most and even when the race is under way he’s thinking tactically about how to get the best of it.

“If he returns in 2017 and he’s with us then he could be very difficult to beat.”