AirAsia Renault Clio Cup UK outfit Scuderia Vittoria enjoyed a positive weekend at Rockingham, with debutant Ant Whorton-Eales starring on his first outing with the team, while regular Luke Wright enjoyed a top four finish.
Midlander Whorton-Eales had never raced on slick tyres before the meeting, but shocked his rivals by qualifying sixth for the opening race, with Wright one place behind him, before the tables were turned for race two, with Wright lining up fifth and Whorton-Eales ninth.
The opening race saw Wright charge through the fourth, however the Dorset racer was to be left disappointed when his steering broke in a collision, ending his race. Whorton-Eales dropped to thirteenth on the opening lap, but a superb recovery saw him battle through to finish eighth, ending up just 0.009s away from the race's fastest lap on his debut.
A better second race for Wright saw him scythe his way into third on the opening lap and although he dropped a place to fourth, he stayed in the fight for second throughout the race and ended up just 0.070s off the fastest lap. Whorton-Eales once again had a tough opening lap, but fought back to finish seventh, passing double champion Paul Rivett along the way.
Team director Danny Buxton said: “This was a really good weekend for Scuderia Vittoria. According to the clerk of the course, Luke's incident in race one was a racing incident – he went for the move and was unlucky. So with that in mind we just wanted him to bring the car home in race two. He lost touch with the leading three, but then showed good pace and pulled them back in without taking any risks – and they're all experienced guys.
“Ant was a revelation. He needs to learn to be a bit more positive on the opening lap, but after that he was a joy to watch. I'm very proud of him – especially as he reminded everyone that you can overtake in Clios! He showed respect to the championship contenders, but at the same time did not give an inch.”