Herbert Takes Dominant Victory In Rockingham Opener

by Simon Paice

Luke Herbert continued his impressive record in the new-for-2013 Michelin Clio Cup Series with Protyre with victory in the opening race at Rockingham, his fourth win in five races.

Herbert topped the morning’s twenty minute qualifying session from start to finish, with a quickly established three tenth advantage at the top of the times allowing him to save his tyres for the afternoon’s race.

Fellow front-row starter Andy Jordan made the better start of the two at the start of the twenty lap encounter, with the duo running side-by-side into Deene hairpin for the first time. With Jordan stuck on the outside, Herbert was able to retain his lead on the inside, with Peter Felix following him through for second.

Jordan was left to slot into third ahead of Darren Wilson and David Pierce, while moving up three places to sixth on the opening lap was Jason Tarling. That advantage came from a jump-start though, and he was soon handed a drive-through penalty.

At the front, Herbert had stretched out a one second lead by the end of the lap two, with the top four breaking away from the field behind. That soon became the top three though, with a moment for Wilson on lap four dropping him back to eighth.

As Herbert began to break clear, the battle for second intensified between Felix and Jordan. The 20Ten Racing ace held the position until lap seven, when Jordan forced his way through at Deene. Felix looked to fight back, however a brief off track moment on the run to Tarzan three laps later ended his challenge.

This allowed Jordan to focus on Herbert ahead and the gap between the two dropped in the final few laps, but Herbert was in control as he took the chequered flag for a 1.5 second victory. Jordan took second, with Felix recovering from his moment to finish third.

Brett Lidsey was one of the drivers on the move during the race. After passing Tarling at Deene on lap four, Lidsey caught and passed Pierce three laps later to secure the fourth place finish. Pierce meanwhile had a moment at Gracelands on lap eleven, dropping him back to eighth and promoting James Weston into fifth at the finish.

Wilson recovered from his early moment to round out the top six, while Tarling finished seventh on the road, however with him not serving his penalty within the allotted time, he was later disqualified from the race. This promoted Pierce to seventh and last in the ‘Racecar’ class in the final results.

In the ‘Roadcar’ class, Tommy Ostgaard took the class pole by 0.6 seconds from SWB Motorsport team-mate Sam Randon and Jake Honour. The trio went on to put on a fantastic battle throughout the early stages of the race, with all three drivers holding the lead at one stage over the first four laps.

Ostgaard started to pull away from lap five, leaving Randon and Honour to battle behind. After switching places a couple of times, a mistake from Randon at Deene saw him run wide, handing the initiative to Honour.

With the gap to Ostgaard being too much for Randon to close in the remaining laps, the Norwegian went on to take the victory, with Honour a comfortable second ahead of a frustrated Randon.

Full race results can be found here: http://tsl-timing.com/barc/2013/133221cls.pdf

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