Jordan Stilp is confident he can maintain his Renault UK Clio Cup title challenge over the remaining three meetings of the 2014 season despite a tricky outing at Snetterton last weekend.
Stilp burst into the title picture and made the rest of the paddock stand up and take notice with a stunning weekend at Croft prior to the championship’s summer break.
The 19 year old dominated the meeting, taking two pole positions, two fastest laps and his first two series wins, the first for his 20Ten Racing team since a double for current championship leader Josh Cook with them at Silverstone in October 2012.
“That sort of weekend was a long time coming,” Stilp told TCF. “Last year we did well there and got on the front row, but then had problems with the engine and a first corner incident.
“This year it all worked out great, we got both pole positions, fastest laps and the race wins, it was a brilliant weekend for me and the team.”
Before that weekend, Stilp had only picked up two top five finishes in the first eight races, and with his standout performance of 2013 having also come at Croft, the teenager is aware that he could be seen as a one-track specialist.
Therefore Stilp has headed into the second half of the season, starting last weekend at Snetterton, firmly focused on erasing any doubts surrounding whether he could challenge for podiums and wins at other circuits.
“We knew people were going to look at me as a one-track specialist, that I’m only quick at that track and not at the others, so the team and I worked really hard over the summer to develop the car to ensure it’s exactly how we want it,” he commented.
“It’s worked out well, and we were back at the front of the grid at Snetterton despite having some problems with the car. We know that it’s Clio racing, it’s competitive and no-one stays at the front of the grid forever, but the stress is off us now in terms of winning. We showed we can win there, and we can do it anywhere.”
Snetterton proved to be a tough outing for him though, with a boisterous race one resulting in a post-race penalty that dropped him to ninth overall, before a similarly action-packed race two yielded a seventh place finish.
Despite losing ground in the title race, with leader Cook winning both encounters, Stilp feels the unpredictable nature of the Clio Cup and his strong recent pace means he shouldn’t be ruled out of the title picture.
“Anything can happen to anyone at anytime in this championship, all it takes is a DNF, car problems, a penalty and it all changes,” he concluded. “We know if we can keep consistently finishing in the top three, top four from here, I’ll be up there in the championship and should be able to fight for it at the end.”