Scuderia Vittoria enjoyed a strong weekend in the AirAsia Renault Clio Cup at Donington Park. The team, who joined the series for 2011, impressed many onlookers, with drivers Matt Allison and Luke Wright impressing in both qualifying and the races.
Race one saw Wright line up a great fifth on the grid, with Allison not far behind in eighth. It was the latter who enjoyed the best run in the race, moving up to fifth, before being knocked back a place by Tom Grice. He eventually finished sixth, before being given a position when Grice was later penalised for his move.
Allison said: “I got a heavy knock on the front-right corner, and after that I had more understeer than in qualifying. The group in front were doing similar times but they got the jump early on me.”
Wright was unable to capitalise on his strong starting position, getting caught up in an incident between Grice and Lee Pattison at the start, dropping him down the field. He eventually finished tenth, nursing home a car suffering from damaged steering.
Race two saw former BTCC racer Allison jump up to fifth early on once again and he quickly pushed on, trying to challenge the leading quartet. He was unable to gain any more places, though finished just 2.245 seconds off the race winner, setting the second fastest of the race in the process.
Norfolk based Allison added: “We set the car up to come on later in the race, but not as late as it actually did! The speed was there, and in another three or four laps I would have made up more places. But it's only my second race weekend back after two years away, so we're going in the right direction. I'm looking forward to the next round at Thruxton – it's one of my favourite circuits so hopefully we can get that elusive champagne spray!”
Team mate Wright recovered from yet another clash with Grice to take a strong sixth early on, before losing a spot to eventually take a solid seventh.
Dorset driver Wright “I think I was a little bit too hard on the tyres in the early laps, because I lost speed halfway through. It's a shame, but I should have qualified better for that race. I was on full lock trying to stay on the track when I got the hit. I made a few mistakes in qualifying but it's all about experience, and I'm still attempting to get races under my belt without getting fired off!”
Team director Danny Buxton added. “I thought Matt drove really well and he grew in confidence as the weekend went on. The rustiness is going, and that was proved from his second fastest lap in race two – I think his season will really start at Thruxton.
“Luke had a mega best lap in qualifying – he's still learning about looking after the tyres in the races but he was the highest rookie in race two, and that's impressive. I was also delighted that the guys both kept it together in race one to get good finishes and show strong speed despite damage.”