The Michelin Clio Cup Series returns to action for the second meeting of the 2015 season this weekend with a first ever trip to Thruxton in Hampshire, with a number of series front-runner expressing their anticipation at tackling the high-speed circuit.
The 2.35 mile track will provide a unique challenge for the Clio Series field, particularly with the majority of them not present for the open winter test days in February, which served as the only pre-event testing available at the circuit prior to qualifying tomorrow (13th June).
One driver who was in action in February was Luke Herbert, though he only got limited track time after a nasty incident. Herbert has since taken the Clio Series championship lead during the season opener at Rockingham nine weeks ago, and is keen to extend his advantage this weekend on his Thruxton racing debut.
“I had a big crash in testing at Thruxton, so that is in the back of my mind going back there, but I enjoy the track and I am looking forward to it,” said Herbert.
“The test day was my first time round Thruxton, so going straight into qualifying at the weekend is going to be a challenge. The thing is you’re in sixth gear pretty much everywhere, other than the chicanes, so a small moment can usually turn into something pretty big! Hopefully it’ll be good.”
Herbert’s current closest challenge in the main Race Series class is privateer entrant Paul Streather, who also heads for his first race outing at Thruxton buoyed by a maiden championship win at Rockingham which denied Herbert a hat-trick.
“I’m really looking forward to the weekend, I’ve only been to Thruxton once before and my car then broke in qualifying so I haven’t really got any experience of the track – I’ve never tested there,” he explained.
“It’ll be interesting going straight into qualifying but I’m ready to try my hardest. Thruxton is a daunting place but I tend to like fast, flowing circuits and I’m ready for the challenge.”
In the Road Series, Jade Developments pairing Luke Pinder and Jake Honour currently head the standings. Pinder has the momentum following three class wins in three at Rockingham, but Honour could have the edge at his home event having got some, albeit limited, running under his belt in February.
“Thruxton is going to be something totally different to Rockingham, I’ve never been there so it’s going to be in at the deep end,” commented Pinder. “Jake [Honour] knows the circuit from then so, hopefully, he’ll be able to help me out as team-mates and show me the ropes.”
“I’ve only been to Thruxton once before for the test in February, and it was pouring down with rain, so my experience is limited,” added Honour. “It should be a good weekend, there are going to be a lot of people there, sponsors, family and people from work – so no pressure!”
Thruxton qualifying will take place at 10.50 on Saturday, 13th June, with round four scheduled to follow at 16.20. On Sunday, 14th June, round five will get underway at 15.15.
Live timing will be available through TSL Timing, with updates throughout the weekend on Twitter – @ClioCupSeries.