Ant Whorton-Eales set the pace during testing at Rockingham yesterday as part of the official Renault UK Clio Cup media day, the SV Racing ace just edging out Team Pyro pairing Ash Hand and Ashley Sutton.
The first official test of the pre-season allowed the teams to check out their competition ten days before the first meeting of the year, with last year’s leading teams re-assuming their position at the top of the timesheets.
Whorton-Eales’ best time of 1m 28.766s put him nearly two tenths of a second clear of Hand, with Sutton closely pursued by new SV recruit Jack Mitchell, 20Ten Racing’s Jordan Stilp and Paul Rivett with WDE Motorsport.
The fastest time of the day proved to be 1.4 seconds faster than the current Clio race lap record around the circuit – set by Ben Winrow in 2008 – as the team’s took advantage of the new Dunlop tyre compound for 2015.
“The new compound that Dunlop has produced is dynamite. Its performance eventually tails off like any tyre, but the first few laps out of the blocks on the tyre are sensational,” said Whorton-Eales.
“I’m very happy to be fastest in what is the only officially-timed session before the season, particularly because I’ve barely done any testing at all during the winter break. It’s nice to lay down a bit of a marker but the others aren’t far away and I’m not getting carried away.”
JamSport duo Dan Holland and Thomas Grundy both showed strong pace to round out the top eight ahead of Charlie Ladell and Rory Green, with Freddie Hunt and Rory Collingbourne completing the runners on the day.
Full times from the test day can be seen by clicking here.