23/07/2018

Intense Renault UK Clio Cup title fight resumes at Norfolk’s Snetterton circuit

An already closely fought Renault UK Clio Cup title race – currently headed by Max Coates, Paul Rivett and James Dorlin – can be expected to intensify further this coming weekend (Sat 28/Sun 29 July) when the 2018 season resumes along with the latest rounds of the British Touring Car Championship at Norfolk’s Snetterton circuit.
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Snetterton’s event makes for the biggest motor sporting fixture of the year for the East Anglia region. A trackside crowd of in excess of 30,000 people is anticipated to pour into the venue just off the A11 near Attleborough. Furthermore Sunday’s action will be broadcast live across the UK by ITV4.

The Clio Cup’s two races (rounds 11 and 12 of the 18-round season) both take place on Sunday – at 09:55 and 15:45 respectively. These follow the all-important half hour timed qualifying session on Saturday (11:30) that will decide the two starting grids.

Arriving at Snetterton, Team Pyro driver Coates leads the standings from WDE Motorsport’s Rivett and Westbourne Motorsport’s Dorlin.

These three have done all the winning so far – Dorlin with five victories to Coates’s three and Rivett’s two – and each has enjoyed a spell at the top of the table at some stage.

However, right now it is Pyro’s Coates who leads from WDE’s Rivett and Westbourne’s Dorlin. Or is it? There is the championship’s single dropped score rule to consider which, when currently applied, sees Rivett move to the front. Undoubtedly this will begin to pray on the drivers’ minds as the rounds tick down…

Notably Rivett has more wins (three) than any other driver around Snetterton’s 300 circuit configuration being used this weekend – the longest lap on the calendar. He also holds the race lap record there…

But it’s not just about Coates, Rivett and Dorlin: many more drivers have been close to a win and some could yet bring themselves into title contention, particularly if things go their way at Snetterton.

DRM’s Daniel Rowbottom leads the charge behind, closely followed by Matrix Motorsport’s Michael Epps, Pyro’s Jack McCarthy, WDE’s Lee Pattison, Pyro’s Bradley Burns and Westbourne’s James Colburn. Each is a class act.

Ditto the driver rounding out the current top ten in the standings – Snetterton ‘local’ Dan Zelos. The WDE driver has been among the strongest performers in recent rounds with some particularly impressive form in qualifying. Another local is Luke Warr – he and his small BLG team only joined the grid at Donington in April but are getting stronger every time out and have already been in the points…

Adding to the stellar entry list are MRM’s Jade Edwards and Brett Lidsey, WDE’s Nicolas Hamilton and Sam Osborne, Pyro’s Zak Fulk and Matrix trio Andy Wilmot, Aaron Thompson and Jeff Alden.

In fact the grid is set to reach 23 cars this weekend – the biggest the Clio Cup has seen in over 15 months – with the addition of four more quality drivers. Three of them – Jack Young with MRM, Ben Colburn (James’s young brother) with Westbourne and Nick Reeve with Specialized Motorsport (itself new to the grid) – all make their Clio Cup debuts, while Nathan Edwards returns with WDE.