Whorton-Eales: "Wins not the priority at Thruxton"

Renault UK Clio Cup points leader Ant Whorton-Eales says he’d be fully content with just a pair of fourth places in this weekend’s two rounds at Thruxton.
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SV Racing’s Whorton-Eales currently holds a 22-point lead over nearest challenger, Team BMR Restart with Pyro’s Ashley Sutton. Discounting bonus points for fastest race laps, on paper two fourths would be enough to keep him ahead leaving the Hampshire circuit on Sunday night.

Lichfield racer Whorton-Eales said: “This weekend for us is about maintaining the lead and not doing anything silly. I’d be really happy with two fourths to be honest. It’s not my strongest track and there are going to be much stronger tracks for me towards the end of year.

“If we come out still leading after Thruxton I’ll be very happy. My team boss Daniel Buxton’s instructions are two top fours so I’m just out to do what the boss says…”

Whorton-Eales knows he and SVR team-mate Jack Mitchell will need to work together in qualifying to provide one another with slipstreams to stand a chance of starting either of Sunday’s races from near the front.

“Lee Pattison took pole position last year with a mega lap but because he got a tow which gained him probably more than half a second,” he added. “Our rivals will be doing the same so we’ve got to do it as well.

"We were quick in testing here a while ago but with no testing on the eve of the event like we have at other events it means we are all going to have to be absolutely on it the moment we head out on track in qualifying tomorrow (Saturday).”

Whorton-Eales believes a sprinkling of rain – not to be ruled out according to forecasts – could cause extra excitement in the races. But he doesn't believe his apparent skill at being quick off the mark on ‘cold tyres’ will play to his advantage at Thruxton.

“The circuit is so abrasive that I think we’ll all have our tyres pretty much up to temperature at the end of the green flag lap as we line up on the grid – I don’t think cold tyres will come into it here like they do at other circuits,” he explained.

“I wouldn’t mind it if it rained. Again, because of the abrasiveness of the circuit I don’t know how long those tyres would hold on around here so they might even become more like slicks as the races progressed which then brings in the aquaplaning factor which places an extra emphasis on car control. I’d be up for that…