Ant Whorton-Eales has expressed his happiness after a podium-filled end to the 2013 Renault UK Clio Cup season.
In his second full campaign in the tin-top championship, Whorton-Eales overcame a tough first half of the season to pick up four podium finishes in the final seven races, including three in the last four.
“We started off the season okay, running in the top five. We hit our run of bad luck around the middle though, with the qualifying crash and two DNF’s at Thruxton, and the DNF at Oulton,” Whorton-Eales told TCF.
“Since then though, it’s really picked up with the podiums and it’s been a really strong end to the year.”
The 19 year old’s highlight of the season was undoubtedly his maiden Clio Cup victory at Rockingham in September. The win came courtesy of an incredible opening lap move from twelfth to first around the outside into Deene hairpin.
“Starting from twelfth I didn’t have anything to lose, I decided to go to the outside and it paid off,” he commented.
“The win was a massive confidence boost more than anything. Knowing that you’ve won a race and are capable of beating everyone else on the track gives you a lot of confidence.”
Whorton-Eales has been benefitting from support from the KX Akademy this season, and the Scuderia Vittoria racer feels it has been hugely beneficial to his development as a driver.
“It’s been really important,” he explained. “It’s not just the financial funding, but the workshops we do out of the race weekends too.
“The support from Jason [Plato] and the team, their knowledge and guidance, has really helped me develop this year.”
While plans for 2014 are not yet set in stone, Whorton-Eales admits a return to the Clio Cup for a go in the new fourth-generation Clio racer is his primary target.
“I’d love to have a go in the new Clio,” he concluded. “Apparently it’s a good three seconds a lap quicker than the current one, and a lot more exciting to drive, so hopefully I get the chance to race one next year.”