This will mark the UK Clio Cup’s first time back at Snetterton in two years and, as ever, its two races there will take place alongside the latest rounds of the bill-topping Dunlop British Touring Car Championship with coverage of the action being shown live on ITV4.
The event is also the biggest motor sporting fixture of the year for racing fans in the East of the country and with swift access to the venue from the nearby A11 and improved viewing around Snetterton’s ‘300’ circuit configuration – the longest lap of the season – a typical bumper trackside crowd is anticipated.
JamSport driver Whorton-Eales’s advantage at the top over Team Pyro’s Bushell is just three points – in effect nothing given that 32 points are awarded per win and there are still eight races to go, including Snetterton’s two.
Chasing them hard in third and fourth in the standings but with ground to make up are WDE Motorsport’s Paul Rivett and Ciceley Motorsport’s Max Coates. Similarly Team Cooksport’s Lee Pattison and Finesse Motorsport’s Paul Streather in fifth and sixth are not far behind in fifth and sixth.
All six drivers are race winners in 2016 so do not be surprised if the overall points difference between them has closed up after Snetterton’s two races.
Streather’s Finesse team, based in Wisbech, is among several local interest stories on the ultra-competitive UK Clio Cup grid at Snetterton. The others include Rivett’s front-running WDE team-mate Charlie Ladell (Bury St Edmunds), Coates’s Ciceley team-mate Dan Zelos (from Dereham and mentored by BTCC ace Adam Morgan) and, making his debut with Cooksport on his home track, Cambridge’s Shayne Deegan.
In the Teams’ championship Pyro leads handsomely thanks to the combined efforts of Bushell and team-mates David Dickenson, Senna Proctor and Josh Price. Notably youngsters Proctor and Price are backed by BTCC squad BMR and are already podium finishers in 2016. They plus Dickenson (a front-row starter in Croft’s latest rounds) will be targeting a maiden win at Snetterton…
Indeed they are among some outstanding talent on the grid which could so easily upset the current leaders – take a bow Team Ecomotive’s Daniel Rowbottom, PP Motorsport’s Anton Spires, Vanquish’s Paul Plant, JamSport’s Luke Kidsley, Cooksport duo George Jackson and Rory Collingbourne, WDE’s Rory Green and Ciceley’s Ollie Pidgley.
Meanwhile Craig Milner makes his second appearance of 2016 with the 20Ten Racing team.
The UK Clio Cup drivers will first be on track at Snetterton on the Friday (29 July) with two timed practice sessions to enable them to fine-tune their cars’ set-ups to the circuit’s characteristics. On the Saturday comes the half-hour timed qualifying session that will decide the starting grid orders for the two races – both taking place on the Sunday (at 9.55am and 4.10pm) and both ten-laps in distance.