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UK points leader Young dominates French GP ‘Clio Cup Open’ – Colburn also on podium

The Renault UK Clio Cup has again come out on top at international level as its current championship leader Jack Young won both ‘Clio Cup Open’ races during the French Formula 1 Grand Prix event at Paul Ricard near Marseille. There was also a podium result for fellow UK racer Ben Colburn…
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Starting from pole position, 17-year-old Young from Belfast romped to victory by nearly 23 seconds in race one – held straight after the F1’s third free practice session on Saturday.

His MRM team-mate Brett Lidsey had started alongside him on the front row of the 44-car grid that comprised drivers representing Clio Cup championships from six other countries.

However it was Westbourne Motorsport’s Colburn who, with one of the race’s stand-out drives, came through to finish third having started from eighth on the grid.

Young, in his distinctive Eddie Stobart-liveried car, then went out and dominated race two (on Sunday) as well, his winning margin this time some 21 seconds. Colburn was again inside the top ten with a ninth place finish.

Young commented: “To win in front of the Formula 1 crowds just feels amazing!

“The MRM car was mega and the trick was to make sure I kept my lead through the first few corners and then just go for it – when the others started fighting and holding each other up I could draw clear.”

Young’s two victories mirrored his win in last November’s Clio Cup ‘world final’ at Paul Ricard in which he and fellow UK racer Max Coates finished first and second against a 90-car field.

Although Young “missed” Coates this time around at Paul Ricard, he is looking forward to renewing their rivalry in this coming weekend’s (29-30 June) latest UK Clio Cup rounds at Oulton Park in Cheshire.

Young added: “The competition at Paul Ricard was very good but it would have been nice to have Max there – we’re at the same level and it could have been an exciting couple of races between us. I’m looking forward to getting on track with him again at Oulton.”

Meanwhile an elated Colburn said: “Third place at Paul Ricard is one of the best experiences of my racing career and is a real confidence booster heading back for Oulton Park’s UK Clio Cup rounds.

“I didn’t expect to get third from where I was starting but it was a case of never giving up and when things started to get a bit heated in front I made sure I stayed out of it and picked them off.”

Elsewhere at Paul Ricard, Specialized Motorsport’s Luke Warr took 20th and 31st places in the two races respectively. Westbourne’s two other drivers, Aaron Thompson and James Colburn experienced mixed fortunes – the former was 30th and then a much stronger 17th, but the latter was out of luck in both races having qualified a strong fifth on the grid.