Simon Belcher secured the Renault UK Clio Cup ‘Masters Cup’ class title for the second year running during a dramatic final round of the season at Brands Hatch GP.
The Swindon-based racer headed into the meeting with a sixteen-point lead in the class standings, however he was to face a tough task to retain the crown from chief rival, in-form Lee Pattison.
The weekend’s opening race started in frustrating fashion for Belcher, contact sending him wide across the gravel, into fourth in class. He mounted a good recovery though, gaining third from Pattison when his rival had a moment
Belcher eventually slipped back behind his rival and finished up fourth in class, though with Pattison fighting through to win the class, Belcher’s lead was cut to six points with one race remaining.
Lining up second in class at the start of Round 16, the 39 year old knew if he could hold the place he would retain the title even if Pattison won.
The KARCHER-backed racer was elbowed down to third early on into a first safety car period, however Belcher wasn’t ruffled and the title was confirmed to be his when Pattison was unfortunately caught in a three-car tangle soon afterwards.
With Pattison out of the equation, Belcher wrapped up the title with third in class, his eleventh Masters podium of the year.
“We’ve really made this championship hard work over the last two rounds with a DNF and a wrong tyre call at Rockingham,” said Belcher, “If it was meant to be, I knew the championship would come to us this weekend and it did. Third in class in the second race wasn’t enough, but I didn’t want to do anything silly and just bided my time.
“If I needed to do anything more ambitious I was going to wait until the last couple of laps. The aim was to stay with all of the other Masters drivers, which we did, but then I saw [Lee] Pattison in the gravel about halfway through the race and knew we’d got the title. Although the spray made things pretty frightening, the car felt good in the conditions – the team did a great job with it.
“It’s been a tough year but, in the end, we did the job we set out to do – to win the Masters.”