SV Racing’s Alex Morgan, Josh Cook and Ant Whorton-Eales lead the way in the Courier Connections Renault UK Clio Cup as the championship heads to Thruxton this weekend for the third meeting of the 2014 season.
KX Akademy-backed SV have been the dominant force in the championship so far, taking all four race wins and a total of eight podium finishes over the first two meetings.
Morgan picked up the two wins on the opening weekend at Brands Hatch, and despite some car troubles restricting him to sixth and third place finishes at Donington, the reigning vice-champion heads the points standings into Thruxton.
Only four points behind though is Cook, the third year Clio racer having excelled in tricky weather to take a double victory of his own at Donington. The Bristolian topped the official pre-event test at Thruxton a couple of weeks ago, so will have high hopes of winning again and taking the points lead this weekend.
Whorton-Eales sits third in the points after carding three top four finishes so far, the last of which completed a special one-two-three-four finish for the SV team. Hand meanwhile is a bit further back in ninth, however he has momentum for Thruxton after finishing second in race two at Donington.
SV’s closest challenge so far has come from reigning champions Team Pyro, and in particular Mike Bushell. The 24 year old has taken two podiums so far this year, however his challenge took a blow with a dramatic race-ending incident at the start of Round Four, the first retirement of any driver in the Clio Cup this season. He’ll be targeting a maiden Clio Cup win at Thruxton.
One driver who didn’t have the Donington weekend he’d hoped for was Paul Rivett. The triple Clio Cup champion is still adjusting to the new car and his combined driver/team manager role, but will aim to show experience counts around the unique Thruxton circuit this weekend.
Like Rivett, two experienced Clio racers who haven’t been able to have as much running at the front of the field as hoped so far are James Colburn and Lee Pattison, with both hoping to kick-start their campaigns at Thruxton.
While consistent, with four top seven finishes, Colburn has yet to really challenge for a podium finish, while Pattison, who has switched from JHR Developments to Team Pyro since the Donington meeting, will be buoyed by the fact he took a win and a second place in the corresponding meeting twelve months ago.
One to watch meanwhile will be the surprise package at Donington, Jordan Stilp. The 20Ten Racing ace followed up a maiden pole position with two top five finishes, and the 19 year old will now be hoping to show it wasn’t a flash in the pan and card more front-running results in Hampshire.
The grid will unfortunately be down to just eleven cars for the weekend, with Mark Fish Motorsport’s Mark Howard and 20Ten Racing’s Craig Milner electing to skip the meeting.
With a big tow on the new fourth-generation Clio’s, we’re set for plenty of wheel-to-wheel racing this weekend around the high-speed Thruxton circuit. Qualifying at 11.20 is the only Clio action on Saturday, with both races taking place on Sunday, at 10.40 and 15.50.