17/04/2018

Significant stats aplenty in Brands Hatch season opener

While the weather put paid to any new lap records at Brands Hatch’s opening Renault UK Clio Cup rounds of 2018, qualifying and both races still produced some notable statistics…
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  • Osborne-01 (3).jpg
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Top of the list was Team Pyro’s Jack McCarthy – aged 17 he became the youngest driver in championship history to qualifying on pole position (for race two).

The youngest prior to that was Tom Onslow-Cole back at Snetterton in 2005, then aged 18 years, three months and 21 days – McCarthy has lowered that to an incredible 17 years, seven months and 27 days and one wonders if either of his 16-year-old team-mates Zak Fulk or Bradley Burns can go on to better it during the current season…

From three drivers still starting out on their Clio Cup careers to one who is well into it – Paul Rivett. The three-time Champion looked as fast and as fresh as ever at Brands Hatch with quite stunning move on Max Coates in race one that enabled him to notch up win number 48 in the championship.

In fact it was he and Coates who did all the leading at Brands, too. The Pyro driver led the opening lap of race one (until being dive-bombed by Rivett into Paddock Hill Bend) and was then never headed in the longer, 19-lap race two.

Significantly, even with very limited pre-season testing under the belts, they become the first two drivers in championship history to score the new bonus point on offer for leading a race across the start-finish line (a la British Touring Car Championship).

Speaking of which, ex-BTCC racer Michael Epps and the Matrix Motorsport team got off to a very satisfactory start together in the Clio Cup – Epps’s eighth place in qualifying for race one and then his fourth place finish in race two both his and the new squad’s best results thus far.

Meanwhile Andy Wilmot and Jeff Alden, also both new to the championship, established best qualifying and race results of 16th and 19th and then 13th and 17th respectively… Similarly, WDE newcomer Nathan Edwards achieved qualifying and race results bests of 14th and 11th on his debut…

Daniel Rowbottom’s third place in race one equalled his best result to date (he was third five times in 2017)! And there could so easily have been a maiden podium in either race for WDE’s Sam Osborne – for several glorious seconds in race one he actually held second along the Cooper Straight! Still, third and fourth in qualifying for the two races marked his best starting grid positions to date…

Pyro youngsters Burns and Fulk made it into our Brands stats as well with personal best race results of fifth and seventh (in race two). It was in the same race that, for the second time in just five events contested so far, Fulk also set the fastest lap…