Renault UK Clio Cup championship leader Ash Hand has expressed his delight at picking up a double podium finish at Rockingham last weekend, after feeling he struggled to match the optimum pace across the meeting in Corby.
While Hand saw two of his title rivals, Ant Whorton-Eales and Ashley Sutton, card a win apiece, a second and a third was enough to ensure the Team Pyro ace still went home with a seventeen point advantage.
“I’ve had another great weekend with two podiums. Overall I’ve gained three points on Ash [Sutton] and lost a couple to Ant [Whorton-Eales], so that’s a top weekend for me at a circuit we’ve really struggled at,” Hand told TCF.
“I know we had pole in qualifying, but that was just one magical lap. It’s the most perfect lap I’ve ever done around here, it was mega, but other than that we’ve struggled with our pace so to only lose a couple of points is brilliant.”
The second race of the weekend saw Hand embroiled in a titanic scrap with the other title hopeful Paul Rivett. The three-time champion grabbed the place on lap three, and despite Hand’s best efforts he couldn’t wrestle it back off him.
“It was really tough battle. I got up the inside of him a couple of times, but Paul was being more aggressive than I was going to be and there was going to be no way past,” Hand reflected.
“He didn’t want to give that place up and he would have done anything to keep it. I respect him for that, I would have been the same if it was the other way around, and we kept that respect between us on track no matter how hairy it got.”
Hand now heads to Silverstone in three weeks’ time confident of adding to his seven wins so far this season.
“It’s going to be close at Silverstone, so I think it’s the driver that goes there the most relaxed and the most prepared that will make themselves known and come out on top,” he concluded.
“I’ve done a lot of preparation already for Silverstone, and to be honest I’m really confident around there so I definitely feel we can go and win.”