31/07/2018

How new teen trio stunned on Clio Cup debuts in wet & dry at Snetterton

The Renault UK Clio Cup has unearthed yet another crop of teenage talent for UK motor sport to watch out for with Jack Young, Nick Reeve and Ben Colburn all dazzling on their championship debuts at Snetterton.
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Young and Reeve, still aged only 16 having starred in the Clio Cup Junior category, announced themselves as early as Friday with some stunning form in free practice.

Immediately Young was on the pace, second only to James Dorlin in FP1 and then backing that up with P3 in FP2 to be classified a sensational P2 overall in his MRM-prepared car.

Reeve was also up there by the end of the day as he and the Specialized Motorsport team – itself making its first outing in the senior Clio Cup – wound up an excellent P7.

Colburn meanwhile had a more cautious approach, P18 overall and some 1.7s off the top in Westbourne Motorsport’s third car.

Each then appeared to handle the pressure of Saturday’s half-hour qualifying session in their stride. Young qualified seventh and then sixth fastest for Sunday’s two starting grids (he was actually disappointed after spinning late on!), Reeve eighth and 14th and Colburn 12th for both races – his personal gap to P1 having come down to just 1.2s.

On to Sunday and none seemed fazed by the big occasion of making their race debut at just one level below the headlining British Touring Car Championship. This was despite the wet conditions that suddenly greeted them…

On his very first race lap in the Clio Cup Young brilliantly moved up into third position. He looked comfortable there, too, until a gearbox gremlin forced him into retirement – a glitch that later would effectively rule him out of race two as well. It was a cruel blow.

Reeve’s result in race one also did not reflect his pace. An opening lap off left him way behind but still he shocked by setting the fastest lap of all. Consider his time of 2m25.911s was set early on when the front runners were still circulating in the 2m27s-2m28s bracket and that he was regularly in the 2m26s thereafter.

In race two his speed was rewarded with P10 at the flag for six championship points and he was only 1.7s adrift of P7.

Meanwhile a sudden gear selection problem with Colburn’s car in the morning meant he was forced to wait until race two to make his first start in the Clio Cup and he was also to end it in the points, in P13. That was impressive given it was his first taste of wet conditions – something everyone else had experience of in race one.

A case then perhaps of what might have been but there could be no doubting the impression that Young, Reeve and Colburn made at Snetterton before a sizeable trackside crowd, those tuning in to ITV4’s live coverage of the action and the watching BTCC teams.

Their next opportunity to cause a stir will be at Rockingham in just over a week’s time (11-12 August) – a circuit which memorably 12 months ago heralded the arrival of two more of the championship’s current crop of bright young things, Bradley Burns and Zak Fulk (both were also still 16 at the time) and saw 17-year-old Jack McCarthy achieve his first podium result in the Clio Cup. Can’t wait!