Max Coates, Paul Rivett, James Dorlin and Daniel Rowbottom – each competing for different teams – can all still become Champion and two highly dramatic races on Brands Hatch’s legendary full length Grand Prix circuit are anticipated.
Just seven points cover the top three Coates, Rivett and Dorlin with a maximum of 56 up for grabs across the two races. Rowbottom, 48 points adrift, is the outsider but events of late mean nothing can be taken for granted.
Each of the protagonists has experienced mixed fortunes in the last six races and, in addition to nerves being on edge, there is also the very real prospect of at least a dozen more drivers getting in on the act to mix things up.
Team Pyro’s Coates, WDE Motorsport’s Rivett and Westbourne Motorsport’s Dorlin have made the running all season but Rowbottom, driving for his small DRM team, has really found his form with two breakthrough wins to stay in contention.
There have been two more first-time winners, too: on his 18th birthday weekend, Team Pyro’s Jack McCarthy and team-mate Bradley Burns who, having only just turned 17, became the youngest winner in Clio Cup history with a famous victory double in Silverstone’s penultimate rounds earlier this month.
For Rivett, Brands is his and his WDE team’s home circuit and he’d love nothing more than to clinch a Clio Cup fourth title with a landmark 50th career win in the category. Coates, who’s never won it before, is with the team that has won it more than most, Pyro. Dorlin has won titles before with his current team Westbourne as has Rowbottom with his tiny DRM outfit but not at this level.
It’s an intriguing mix heading into an event that, being played out live on ITV4 on Sunday, will also see the fate of the British Touring Car Championship be decided and is expected to attract a trackside crowd of around 40,000 people.
As ever, enthusiasts can keep up to speed with plenty of comment, pics an video across the Clio Cup’s three social media platforms:
It’s a fitting finale to the UK Clio Cup which in 2018 has again stood out as Europe’s premiere one-make/single-model saloon car championship and the number one category to go to for young drivers with touring car aspirations.
Indeed, 15 of the BTCC’s 27 races have been won by drivers to have come from the UK Clio Cup.