Mike Robinson bounced back from a luckless driveshaft failure in race one to take his first-ever victory in Clio competition during Round Two of the 2014 Michelin Clio Cup Series at Rockingham.
After failing to make the start in the opener due to the aforementioned driveshaft problem, Robinson was hungry to make amends in race two of the weekend and a great start saw him grab the lead from pole-sitter David Dickenson on the opening lap.
The front two were quickly joined by Luke Herbert, who had rocketed from seventh to third on the opening, with there being nothing to split the top three over the first few laps.
As rain started to fall around mid-distance, Robinson was able to begin edging away as Dickenson was challenged hard for second by Herbert, the Total Control Racing racer going on to take victory by 4.2 seconds.
“I don’t think we could have had a worse start to the season in race one, not making it out of the pitlane onto the grid – to say it was disappointing was an understatement.” said Robinson.
“The win in the second race kind of made up for what happened, it definitely puts us back on track. I knew we had the speed, knew we had the pace and I think David [Dickenson] and I will be fighting all year.”
The battle for second went down to the final lap, with Herbert finally finding his way past at Tarzan. A tap from Dickenson at the Brook chicane allowed the round one winner back ahead though, but the officials later handed him a two second penalty for the contact, reversing the result to place Herbert the runner-up spot.
Behind Dickenson, Ollie Pidgley was classified fourth after a sterling drive, during which he set the fastest lap of the race, while Andy Jordan also bounced back from race one disappointment to finish fifth ahead of round one star Paul Streather.
Tommy Ostgaard sliced his way through the field after dropping to the back of the pack on lap one to finish seventh, with Brett Lidsey eighth ahead of Sam Randon, Andy Wilkins and Tom Butler. There was double disappointment for Jacques Mizzi and Pete Bennett meanwhile, who both failed to finish the race, making it double retirements for both for the weekend.
In the ‘roadcar’ class meanwhile, Jake Honour took another lights-to-flag victory, but this one was a little tougher for the privateer. The pole-sitter began to struggle with his tyres as the rain arrived, but was able to fend off the fast Anton Spires to take the win by 0.8 seconds.
Luke Pinder had held second early on, but was forced to retire on lap nine, allowing Spires through. Nic Harrison completed the podium for a second time in third, with Sarah Franklin completing the class finishers.
“I couldn’t have hoped for a better weekend, two race wins and two pole positions,” commented Honour. “It wasn’t easy, the Safety Car came out in the first race and there were a lot of collisions which we had to avoid. Race two started dry but then it began to rain, I lost a lot of grip and Anton [Spires] was chasing me really hard – I had to really drive to keep Anton back.”
Oulton Park in Cheshire will host rounds three and four of the Michelin Clio Cup Series six weeks from now on Saturday, 17th May.
2014 Michelin Clio Cup Series ‘Racecar’ Standings (After Rd.2 of 12):
1. David Dickenson – 59pts
2. Paul Streather – 46pts
3. Sam Randon – 37pts
4. Brett Lidsey – 36pts
5. Mike Robinson – 32pts
6. Tom Butler – 30pts
7. Andy Wilkins – 29pts
8. Luke Herbert – 28pts
9. Ollie Pidgley – 24pts
10. Andy Jordan – 20pts
1. Jake Honour – 66pts
2. Anton Spires – 58pts
3. Nic Harrison – 50pts
4. Sarah Franklin – 42pts
5. Luke Pinder – 22pts