Josh Cook holds a twenty-one point lead at the top of the Courier Connections Renault UK Clio Cup standings ahead of the fourth meeting of the season at Oulton Park this weekend (7/8 June).
The story of the first two meetings of the season was the dominance of SV Racing, who won the opening four races of the campaign with doubles for Alex Morgan and Cook at Brands Hatch and Donington Park respectively.
Last time out at Thruxton though, the landscape of the 2014 Clio Cup changed when Team Pyro’s Mike Bushell and Westbourne Motorsport’s James Colburn shared the wins, ending SV’s one-two-three standing at the top of the driver’s leaderboard.
Wettenhall-based SV now head into their home race weekend hoping to re-establish their race-winning form, with Cook leading their challenge. While his team-mates hit trouble at Thruxton, the 22 year old added two podium finishes to his Donington double to seize the points advantage.
His closest challenger now is Bushell, who finally secured his long-awaited maiden victory at Thruxton. That success and a fourth place in race two in Hampshire moved him from fourth to second in the points, and his next target will be to take the next step up the standings.
Morgan meanwhile has had a tough couple of meetings since his Brands double, with mechanical trouble at Donington and unfortunate contact at Thruxton dropping him 29 points off Cook. The reigning vice-champion is now focusing on bouncing back with some strong Oulton finishes.
Moving up to fourth in the points courtesy of his Thruxton victory meanwhile was Colburn. The experienced Clio racer has finished in the top seven in every race so far this season, and fresh from victory, he’ll be aiming to continue his momentum and add to his six career Clio Cup wins at Oulton.
Hoping to replicate the race-winning feats of their SV Racing team-mates meanwhile are Ant Whorton-Eales and Ash Hand. Both drivers have one podium finish to their name so far this season from Donington, and will be hoping to move out of their team-mates shadows and charge up the standings with race wins.
One driver to watch at Oulton will be Paul Rivett. The three-time Clio Cup champion has two second place finishes to his name so far this year, and he’ll have his sights set firmly on taking a first win of the season at Oulton, a circuit he won at twelve months ago.
With Jordan Stilp, Rob Smith, Lee Pattison and Devon Modell also being in podium contention throughout the season, the championship is sure to be as competitive as ever as it runs around the full International layout at Oulton for the first time in many years.
This will be helped by the returns of Mark Howard and Craig Milner to the action after both missed Thruxton, as well as the addition of series newcomer Charlie Ladell to the grid alongside Rivett at WDE Motorsport – making it a season-high fourteen car grid for the meeting.
After pre-event testing on Friday, the Clio competitor will be taking to the grid for qualifying at 11:35 on Saturday, before Round Seven takes place later that day at 16:35. Round Eight meanwhile will be televised live on ITV4 at 13:32 on Sunday.
2014 Renault UK Clio Cup Championship Standings (After Rd.6 of 20):
1. Josh Cook – SV Racing – 156pts
2. Mike Bushell – Team Pyro – 135pts
3. Alex Morgan – SV Racing – 127pts
4. James Colburn – Westbourne Motorsport – 126pts
5. Ant Whorton-Eales – SV Racing – 108pts
6. Paul Rivett – WDE Motorsport – 102pts
7. Jordan Stilp – 20Ten Racing – 101pts
8. Ash Hand – SV Racing – 97pts
9. Rob Smith – Team Pyro – 94pts
10. Lee Pattison – Team Pyro – 92pts