Alex Morgan has put him name into the history books as the first race-winner with the new fourth-generation Clio racer in the Renault UK Clio Cup with victory in the opening round of the 2014 season at Brands Hatch.
The KX Akademy driver delivered a superb lights to flag victory to take his second career Clio Cup win, one year on from his maiden success on the opening weekend of 2013.
“To start the 2014 season with a win is unbelievable,” said Morgan. “With the grid being so close, you’ve got to get a clean getaway and if you lead at turn one you can control the race after that. All in all, I couldn’t have wished for a better start.”
While the SV Racing ace may have led every lap, it was by no means an easy victory, with Team Pyro’s Rob Smith being a threat to his lead early on.
Smith produced a stunning start to surge from fourth to second through Paddock Hill Bend for the first time, and challenged Morgan a couple of times before a slow puncture picked up just after mid-distance forced him to sit back and nurse his car home in second.
Behind him, a great tussle for the final podium position featured six cars as the race developed. Mike Bushell held the place early on, but a slight mistake got him out of shape, allowing Josh Cook through, with Paul Rivett spinning in avoidance of the slower Bushell.
Despite coming under immense pressure, and battling with a damaged car after early contact, Cook held on to complete the podium, with Bushell taking fourth ahead of Masters Cup winner Lee Pattison and James Colburn.
“I’ve had easier races,” commented Cook. “At the start I got a knock, which bent the axle I think, so I was fighting a losing battle the whole way round. I managed to keep Bushell behind but my tyres were shot!”
Second year drivers Jordan Stilp and Deon Modell were next up, with SV Racing duo Ash Hand and Ant Whorton-Eales completing the top ten. Rivett eventually recovered to eleventh, showcasing his pace with the fastest lap of the race, with fellow Masters Cup runners Mark Howard and Craig Milner completing the finishers.
Full race results can be found here: http://tsl-timing.com/toca/2014/141303cli.pdf