Stefan Hodgetts and Scuderia Vittoria took their second win in three races during the latest rounds of the 2013 Renault UK Clio Cup at Oulton Park.
The KX Akademy star led the way for the front-running Clio outfit during the two races in Cheshire, with a stunning launch in race one seeing go from fifth to second, going on to hold the place for the remainder of the race.
In front of a massive crowd trackside in race two, another lightning start from fourth on the grid for the Clio veteran saw him take the lead into the first corner and he never looked back, controlling the race till the finish to secure his second win of 2013.
“It’s a brilliant result,” said a delighted Hodgetts. “Starting in fourth, a fantastic start saw me into the first corner in the lead and we were able to control the race from there. I was able to do that thanks to a fantastic car from the team. It allowed me to push and control the gap as I wanted. It’s great to be able to showcase what we can do in front of a big crowd like this. What a weekend!”
Ant Whorton-Eales was the team’s star performer in qualifying, the KX Akademy member bouncing back from his weekend-ending crash in qualifying last time out at Thruxton to take third and sixth on the grid for the two races.
The opening race didn’t go to plan for him, contact with the Knickerbrook tyre stack bringing his race to a premature end on lap two, but he made amends with a hard-fought eighth place finish in race two.
Hodgetts and Whorton-Eales were joined in the KX Akademy ranks for the first time by Mike Bushell. The 23 year old, making his debut with the team, battled to ninth and eleventh place finishes.
Devon Modell and Josh Wakefield were left to rue frustrating qualifying sessions in the races, both drivers getting stuck in the middle of the midfield battles. Modell finished twelfth in both encounters, with Wakefield taking twentieth and sixteenth.
Finlay Crocker had a weekend to forget, the Scotsman retiring from incidents in both races, while fellow One Call Insurance-backed driver Ronnie Klos followed up an eighteenth place finish with a retirement.
“Stefan (Hodgetts) has driven really well this weekend,” said Scuderia Vittoria Director, Danny Buxton. “He did a proper job today, the start and first corner was immense, and he just controlled the race from there. He did a really good job.
“Ant (Whorton-Eales) has been one of the star performers this weekend. He really needed a strong one after Thruxton and he’s shown his class. Mike (Bushell) has come in and done very well; today he was as quick as Stefan and I reckon he’ll be difficult to beat at Croft.
Buxton continued: “Finlay (Crocker) drove a blinder today until he got turned around, and we’re really pleased with him. Ronnie (Klos) had a testing weekend, but he made a demon start today and was on for a good result until he was put in the wall.
“Devon (Modell) was fourth in testing but didn’t quite take that through to qualifying, which hampered him in the races, and Josh (Wakefield) performed incredibly well throughout the weekend. His pace in the second race was comparable to Stefan’s, which is great considering he’s still in a transition from rear-wheel-drive to front-wheel-drive.”