Intense Clio Cup title race enters final stages

It’s almost a tie at the top of the Renault UK Clio Cup title race with just four races left to go at Silverstone and Brands Hatch.
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The championship’s top two Max Coates and Jack Young both took a win and a second place in the latest two rounds at Fife’s spectacular Knockhill circuit (14-15 Sept).

However, Young also scored two bonus points to reduce the gap to Coates from six to just four.

A maximum of 112 is possible from Silverstone’s and Brands Hatch’s final four rounds meaning the title race is wide open.

Indeed, both their team-mates Jamie Bond and Brett Lidsey are also still very much in contention – third and fourth in the standings, 40 and 53 points adrift respectively.

Silverstone’s rounds are coming up shortly on 28-29 September and the Brands Hatch season finale on the weekend of 13-14 October.

Coates, from Scorton in North Yorkshire, said: “I’ve been in this position twice before – in 2016 and 2018 – so have some experience on my side which hopefully can count for something.

“I was really pleased with my Knockhill pole and win in race one but frustratingly sort of gifted race two to Jack when I was a bit slow to react to the lights at the start.

“Looking ahead to Silverstone I’m sure we can be strong there. Ideally we will come away still in the lead – I’d rather have points on the board than be the one doing the chasing going into Brands Hatch.”

Young, still aged just 17 from Northern Ireland, reflected: “I made a small mistake in race one at Knockhill and then it was Max’s turn in race two – the win in that one was important as it reminds him I’m not going away.

“We were on the pace at Silverstone last year and then on pole position at Brands Hatch. They are very different types of circuit and every point is going to be vital – particularly the bonus points for fastest laps and leading races. They could make all the difference.

“Max has more experience at this level but I came from behind to win the Clio Cup Junior title at Brands Hatch in 2017 so it’s got fond memories for me.”

Meanwhile Bond, who has reduced what was once a 72 point gap to be just 40 behind the leaders, is also eager to make it to his home event at Brands Hatch still with a chance of the title.

The West Malling driver said: “Knockhill was a bit frustrating as we had great pace and I felt we could and should have won both races which would have brought the gap down even more.

“We had got it down to 32 going there but now it’s crept back out to 40 which makes things harder with fewer rounds left but we’ve seen s often how quickly fortunes can change – I need to make sure I bring it back down at Silverstone and take it to the wire with those two.”

Silverstone’s and Brands Hatch’s rounds will mark the final appearances for the Renault UK Clio Cup which has run unbroken for 20 seasons since 2000.

Both events will be headlined by the British Touring Car Championship and are expected to attract trackside crowds of around 40,000 people. They will also be broadcast live by the ITV4 television channel and online by ITV.

Click here for event details and to book tickets.