Mike Robinson has strengthened his grip on the 2014 Michelin Clio Cup Series with a second win of the weekend at Brands Hatch.
The Total Control Racing ace led Round Eight from lights-to-flag around the Indy circuit, but it was far from easy for the championship leader as a group of five cars put him under immense pressure throughout the race.
Robinson led the field away from pole position at the start of the 21 lap encounter, with Team Pyro duo David Dickenson and Brett Smith quickly establishing themselves as his closest rivals in second and third.
During the early running, Paul Streather ran fourth ahead of Luke Herbert and Pete Bennett, though on lap three Herbert was able to dive past Streather at Paddock Hill Bend for fourth.
Three laps later, the race was brought under the safety car after separate excursions for Tom Butler and Sam Randon at Clearways left a couple of stranded Clios.
After the re-start, while things remained very close at the front of the field, Robinson was able to fend off any challenges from behind and brought his TCR Clio home to the flag for his fifth win of the season – extending his lead at the top of the standings to 36 points in the process.
“I’m really pleased to come away with two wins, thankfully we got two nice starts – which were key to be honest – and didn’t have to defend too much,” said Robinson. “David [Dickenson] really pressured me during the first part of the race but my car was set to come on a bit later, it started to feel better and better. TCR have done such a great job with the car, it’s been fantastic.”
Dickenson and Smith completed the podium, a great double podium for the Pyro team who saw one of their other drivers, Jeff Smith, forced to skip the race after damage sustained to his Clio in an accident in Round Seven.
Herbert finished fourth ahead of Streather, with Bennett taking sixth on the road. Unfortunately for the Finesse Motorsport racer, a ten second penalty for a false start dropped him to tenth in the final classified results. Andy Jordan would have then taken sixth meanwhile, but he was given a five second penalty for exceeding track limits.
This promoted Brett Lidsey into sixth, the 20Ten Racing ace having been involved in a great scrap with Ollie Pidgley during the race that unfortunately resulted in a spin for the latter.
Adam Hatfield capped off a strong debut weekend with SV Racing with seventh, while fellow debutant Tom Barley also carded a top ten finish in ninth. Behind Bennett in tenth, Andy Wilkins finished eleventh ahead of his Pyro team-mate Pidgley.
Provisional Michelin Clio Cup Series ‘Racecar’ Standings (After Rd.8 of 12):
1. Mike Robinson – 218pts
2. David Dickenson – 182pts
3. Paul Streather – 167pts
4. Luke Herbert – 155pts
5. Sam Randon – 105pts
6. Brett Lidsey – 102pts
7. Brett Smith – 101pts
8. Ollie Pidgley – 99pts
9. Andy Jordan – 91pts
10. Tommy Ostgaard – 89pts
11. Tom Butler – 86pts
12. Jeff Smith – 68pts