James Colburn hopes his victory in Round Six of the Courier Connections Renault UK Clio Cup at Thruxton can be a turning point for his and the Westbourne Motorsport team’s season, after a tricky start to the year with their new fourth-generation Clio.
Mechanical gremlins with the new car hampered their opening weekend at Brands Hatch, with Colburn fortunate to come away with a pair of six place finishes, which he followed up with a fourth and seventh at Donington Park.
Colburn got back to where he wants to be around the high-speed Thruxton circuit though, converting a pair of third place grid starts into a top five finish in race one and victory in race two.
The 21 year old grabbed the lead with a lightning getaway off the line, before defending superbly throughout to take his sixth career Clio win – a victory he hopes can start a strong run of results.
“At Brands we had a technical problem which lasted the whole meeting, but fortunately we and Renault managed to overcome it by Donington,” Colburn explained to TCF. “To get that sorted was a weight off our shoulders, and then it was about building confidence back up within the team. That means it’s really important we got this win, and now to wait and see what Oulton brings.”
Heading into the weekend, SV Racing’s Alex Morgan and Josh Cook had taken a double win apiece in the championship so far, with the team’s KX Akademy quartet having secured a total of eight podium finishes in the first four races.
Their dominance came to an end at Thruxton though, first with Mike Bushell winning Round Five with Team Pyro, and then with Colburn’s victory. The Worthing-based racer believes their successes prove it’s going to be far from a one-team championship this year.
“Me and Mike [Bushell] have broken the SV dominance, which is great to see,” he added. “The top five cars in qualifying were Westbourne and Pyro cars, which shows that it’s definitely not going to be an SV dominated season. They’re backed by the KX Akademy, and everyone assumes they’re the best drivers for it, so the rest of us are out there to prove they’re not.”