Hand, who started the race from pole position, led home Team Pyro team-mate Ashley Sutton for his sixth win of the season while WDE Motorsport’s Paul Rivett took a lonely third.
Fourth on his first outing with new team Maximum Motorsport was Ant Whorton-Eales who later reported too much understeer on his car. He was hounded all the way by Team Cooksport’s Lee Pattison who finished fifth on his return to Clio Cup action while WDE’s Charlie Ladell was never far away from this pair in sixth.
Hand’s win, plus two bonus points for setting the race’s fastest lap – a new record – have moved him past Whorton-Eales to the top of the points table. The order heading into tomorrow’s race at Knockhill is Hand on 299, Whorton-Eales on 292, Sutton on 272 and Rivett on 245. Thirty-two points are awarded per race win…
“The race went perfectly for me,” commented Hand. “We were a bit of a queue at the front for the first few laps but then I saw Ashley had dropped away slightly so that was the time to push like crazy and make a break.
“That gave me a cushion of about two seconds and from there I could control things. I always had a bit more in reserve in case he started to come back at me.”
Sutton said: “Second is good but Ash getting the fastest lap and those bonus points – it means he’s put six points on me which is not quite what I wanted. I tried a move on him on the opening lap and in hindsight should perhaps have risked going for it a bit more… then I made two minor mistakes which were enough for him to get away and we’re so closely matched there was no way back then.”
And added Rivett: “I ended up in the wrong gear exiting the chicane and that lost me loads of momentum to the two Ashes – they were gone after that. From there it was all about preserving things and taking the points. Third is OK but those two finishing in front of me isn’t ideal.”
Behind Jack Mitchell took seventh on his first outing for 20Ten Racing. JamSport Racing duo Dan Holland and Thomas Grundy and Cooksport’s Rory Collingbourne completed the top ten. Mitchell goes into tomorrow’s race just two points clear of Ladell for fifth in the standings… Meanwhile Holland, who should have started the race from fourth, was forced to come back through the pack after spinning to the tail of the field on his way to the grid…