Belfast teenager Patrick McClughan has joined new team Kelvin Jones Motorsport for his second season in the Ginetta Junior Championship. The team will run two cars in the championship, with 14-year-old McClughan teaming up with Kelvin Jones' son, Declan.
McClughan made his debut in the series in 2010 and made steady progress over the course of the season, picking up a seasons best eighth place at the finale at Brands Hatch. He is keen to use all the experience he has gained to become a frontrunner in 2011.
“I feel very confident joining Kelvin Jones Motorsport for the new season,” said Paddy, who is backed by Cimpina Ltd. “I know Kelvin has a lot of experience with cars and is very professional. It will be good teaming up with his son, Declan too.
“Declan is a very experienced kart racer. Hopefully I can learn some tricks from him and maybe I can help him a little bit too from what I have experienced in 2010 in the Ginetta Junior Championship.
“It wasn't an easy year for me, but step-by-step I improved. The times kept coming down and I started to get some top-ten finishes and was more and more consistent.
“I now feel good about the coming season. There is going to be quite a few new drivers because a lot of those that were in it in 2010 are too old now and have moved on. I will be a step ahead of those new people coming in. It should be positive.
“The first race we go to next season I want to straight away be in the top-ten. Then as the year gradually goes on, maybe we can get a couple of podiums and possibly even challenge for a victory.”
Team owner Kelvin Jones believes that Paddy will make a good addition to the KJM-Ginetta Junior team and he also thinks rostrum results are a realistic goal for the Belfast teenager.
“Paddy has an initial year in the Ginettas behind him now,” Kelvin added. “He had never raced before, so was really thrown right in at the deep end in 2010. He had a good year though and in the last round had a very encouraging result.
“He has been to most of the tracks already now – and if he hasn't raced at them, he has at least done a track day. I think he has got to be looking for podiums from mid-season onwards.”
Paddy's father and manager, Paul, is pleased to see his son switch from Tranzpower to his new team:
“We have enjoyed working with Tranzpower and are very thankful for everything they have done, but when the chance came up with Kelvin Jones Motorsport it was too good to refuse,” Paul continued.
“Paddy was literally dropped in at the deep end last year. He had no racing experience at all, nothing. It was his first year in any form of racing.
“He hadn't been to any of the tracks before and it was a steep learning curve. He learned a lot throughout the season though and we got him further coaching from Bradley [Ellis].
“Paddy got a ninth place at Donington and an eighth place at Brands Hatch at the end of the year. He wasn't gifted those places. He actually physically overtook a lot of people, which was very pleasing. So it ended on a bit of high.
“Next year, seven of the older guys have gone out because of the age barrier. I am now expecting Paddy to be at least six places further up the grid. That's going from being eighth to fourteenth to being second to eighth.
“We are really quite upbeat and we are excited about working with Kelvin, Declan and all at Kelvin Jones Motorsport.”