McCarthy pips Coates in Donington testing as Harrison also shines on first Pyro outing

In only his second car race event Jack McCarthy set the pace in a disrupted official Renault UK Clio Cup test at Donington Park on Friday as Max Coates and Nathan Harrison also figured strongly.
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Team Pyro’s McCarthy, still aged only 16, set his best lap time of one minute 16.634 seconds right at the end of the first session to pip Ciceley Motorsport’s Coates (1m16.641s) to the top spot by just 0.007s.

Notably both times were quicker than the qualifying lap record (1m16.644s) set by current British Touring Car star Ashley Sutton in 2015…

Many had anticipated that the afternoon session – when drivers started using new Michelin tyres – would be even faster but it didn’t quite work out like that…

Mid-way through the session WDE Motorsport’s Paul Rivett moved to the top of the timesheets with a lap in 1m16.857s only to be immediately usurped by Harrison (1m16.794s).

Moments later the session was suspended to allow marshals to clear fluid laid on the track near McLeans Corner by Paul Streather’s stricken WDE car. It was rotten luck for Streather who had managed only two laps in session one – all this after his car had been badly damaged in a crash during testing for the season’s opening rounds at Brands Hatch!

Meanwhile when the Donington marshals had completed their work only five minutes of the session remained, meaning drivers had little chance to get the most out of their new tyres.

Thus Harrison, on his first weekend as a Pyro driver, ended it on top ahead of Rivett. At the end of the day his time was enough to put him third outright behind McCarthy and Coates…

WDE’s Lee Pattison was fourth in the combined classification (1m16.857s) ahead of team-mate Rivett (using his time from session two).

Westbourne Motorsport’s James Dorlin, Pyro’s Ash Hand, WDE’s Dan Zelos and Pyro’s Mike Bushell were next up – each of them setting their best times in session one. Shayne Deegan was tenth thanks to a late effort in session two in his SDR Motorsport-run car. It was a good response after a spin in session one had caused him to stop at the side of the track…

Notably less than a second covered the fastest 19 of the 25 drivers. The teams and drivers will take a rest on Good Friday before returning to Donington on Saturday for the half-hour qualifying session that will decide who starts where on Sunday’s two starting grids.

Heading into the weekend Pattison and Bushell are tying for the championship lead. Rivett is third in the standings ahead of McCarthy who is not only fourth outright but also leads Dorlin in the Graduates Cup for young, first-year drivers.

CLICK HERE for the full times, speed trap figures and sector analysis.