David Dickenson and Jake Honour have taken a pair of pole positions each in their respective classes during qualifying for the opening rounds of the 2014 Michelin Clio Cup Series at Rockingham.
Experienced Clio campaigner Dickenson got his return to UK racing off to the perfect start, the Irishman leading the way in the main ‘racecar’ class with front-running outfit Team Pyro.
Dickenson, who competed in the Eurocup Clio series last season, was the only competitor to break the 1 minute 31 second barrier during the twenty minute session, posting a fastest lap of 1m 30.975s. That gave him pole for round one, and his second best time, only two thousandths slower, gave him round two pole.
“I’m really, really happy,” said Dickenson. “We struggled a little bit yesterday, since Media Day the track surface has changed a little bit so we worked at that and then this morning everything was pretty much spot on.”
Dickenson’s closest challengers turned out to be Total Control Racing team-mates Mike Robinson and Andy Jordan, who both finished within a quarter of a second with their best times. Robinson just pipped Jordan by 0.095s, and will line-up ahead of his team-mate for both races.
Ollie Pidgley completed a strong session for Pyro by taking fourth for both races, while privateer Paul Streather and SV Racing’s Tommy Ostgaard will share row three for both, Streather fifth for round one before they switch for round two.
Last year’s Clio Series star, Luke Herbert, had a frustrating session meanwhile, qualifying ninth and seventh to leave himself with a lot work to do if he’s going to add to his five category wins this weekend.
Jacques Mizzi and Pete Bennett qualified ahead of him for round one, sharing row four, with Bennett securing eighth again for round two, Mizzi slipping to ninth. Completing the top ten on the grid for both races meanwhile is Brett Lidsey, who made a late move to 20Ten Racing on the eve of the meeting.
In the ‘roadcar’ class meanwhile, Honour continued his strong affinity with Rockingham, having claimed two wins at the Corby-based track in last year’s Autumn Cup event.
The privateer posted a best lap time of 1m 41.520s, 0.439s clear of single-seater convert Anton Spires, who took second in class twice for Westbourne Motorsport. Fellow category newcomers Luke Pinder, Nic Harrison and Sarah Franklin will complete the grid for both races, the ‘roadcar’ quintet split by 2.818s.
“It’s a great start to the year, I’m really pleased,” added Honour, “It was a bit difficult early on, we were P2 for a while but then I put in another quick one. I think I’m about four tenths clear on pole, so I’m really pleased with that.”
Round one takes place tomorrow (Sunday 6th April) at 10:50, with round two following in the afternoon at 15:10.
Full qualifying results can be found here: http://tsl-timing.com/barc/2014/141421cls.pdf