Scuderia Vittoria were the class of the field during the penultimate weekend of the 2013 Renault UK Clio Cup at Rockingham, with the team’s drivers Stefan Hodgetts and Ant Whorton-Eales sharing the victories in Rounds 13 and 14.
Hodgetts’ weekend started perfectly after the KX Akademy ace stormed to a double pole position in qualifying, the experienced Clio racer coping best on an ever-drying circuit.
The day was to get even better in the opening race, with Hodgetts leading the field from start to finish to record his fourth race win of the year. He was pressured throughout from Whorton-Eales, a stunning opening lap seeing him rise from twelfth to third, before he quickly gained second, a position he held to the end to seal a KX Akademy/Scuderia Vittoria one-two.
“Ant kept me very honest and it was far from an easy race,” said an elated Hodgetts. “It’s just fantastic to get another one-two result for the team and sponsors.”
“I’m absolutely delighted to bring home another one-two for Scuderia Vittoria and the KX Akademy,” added Whorton-Eales. “I made an incredible start and managed to weave my way through the carnage on the opening lap.”
Rookie Devon Modell and local man Ronnie Klos were equally impressive in qualifying, taking fourth and sixth respectively. While a tough race for Klos saw him pushed back to 18th, birthday boy Modell took a hard-fought fourth to make it a one-two-four finish for the team.
Fellow rookie team-mate Josh Wakefield crossed the line eighth, with Finlay Crocker battling excessive understeer to finish 16th.
Scuderia Vittoria Director, Danny Buxton, said: “Achieving a one-two-four in the race is brilliant. Stefan (Hodgetts) drove an immaculate race, Ant (Whorton-Eales) executed our plan to perfection at the start and Devon also produced a brilliant drive.”
Whorton-Eales replicated his stunning start from race one at the beginning of the second encounter, an incredible move around the outside of everyone taking him from twelfth place all the way into the lead.
Whorton-Eales and Hodgetts broke away at the front, with another one-two finish looking possible until a puncture forced Hodgetts to pit, leading to an eventual 19th place finish. His young team-mate carried the baton though, fending off championship leader Josh Files to the finish to take his maiden win.
“I don’t really know how I managed to get from 12th to first, to be honest,” commented Whorton-Eales. “We’ve had some bad luck this year, but the team has done a fantastic job all weekend. We hooked it up today and we won’t look back from here. It’s a real monkey off my back!”
Modell once again proved his mettle to battle to a ninth place finish, with he and his One Call Insurance-backed team-mate Crocker embroiled in several tussles through the race, Crocker briefly dipping into the top ten before finishing 15th.
Wakefield and Klos were both victims of contact during a chaotic race, leading to unfortunate retirements. Wakefield’s weekend went from bad to worse after the race, an unfortunate exchange with a fellow driver in parc ferme resulting in him being excluded from the meeting, losing him his eighth place finish in race one.
SV Director, Danny Buxton, added: “Ant (Whorton-Eales) has performed incredibly well all weekend and it was an absolutely awesome showing from him today. This win should boost his confidence no end.
“There have been some massive highlights and I’d say this is the best weekend of the year for SV.”