Renault UK Clio Cup

Preview: Clio Cup Contenders Ready For Oulton Park Visit

2 Mins read

Ant Whorton-Eales, Ashley Sutton and Ash Hand continue to be the leading lights in the Renault UK Clio Cup as the championship heads to Oulton Park this weekend for the fourth meeting of the 2015 season.

Whorton-Eales continues to lead the standings after fighting back from a tough qualifying session at Thruxton to take a pair of top four finishes, though the SV Racing star lost some ground to Thruxton dominators Hand and Sutton.

Hand led his Team Pyro team-mate home for a one-two in every session across the race meeting, meaning they both lie within 24 points of Whorton-Eales in the standings after the first third of the season.

While Hand and Sutton are the in-form drivers heading to Oulton, Hand with three wins in the last four races and Sutton with five podiums so far in his maiden campaign, Whorton-Eales has strong pedigree at Oulton having taken a double pole position and a second place finish there last year.

The only other driver to grace the podium at Thruxton was three-time champion Paul Rivett, who also currently sits fourth in the standings. The WDE Motorsport ace holds the qualifying and race lap records at Oulton, a circuit he last won at in 2013, and he has a first win of the campaign in his sights.

Jordan Stilp lies just two points behind Rivett in the standings, despite the 20Ten Racing man still waiting for his season to really ignite despite visiting the podium at Donington Park, while hoping to challenge them for top three finishes will be the returning Brett Smith, who fought at the front at Donington before missing the Thruxton outing.

Charlie Ladell meanwhile returns to the scene of his Clio debut twelve months ago knowing that if he can nail qualifying than a maiden podium could be on the cards, the Team Cooksport ace having comprehensively gained more places from his grid starts (29) than any other driver so far.

Ladell’s team-mate Rory Collingbourne will be hoping to break into the top six in the races after his most competitive outing of the season so far at Thruxton, while SV’s Jack Mitchell will be hoping to add to his overall podium at Donington Park at a circuit he won both Ginetta Junior races at last year en-route to the title.

Ladell and Collingbourne will be joined at Cooksport by Jon Maybin, who returns to the grid having made a hugely impressive debut at Thruxton with a pair of top six finishes, as well as George Jackson who moves to the team from JamSport Racing after a tougher than hoped introduction to Clio life.

His former JamSport stablemate Dan Holland is one to watch in Cheshire meanwhile, the 17 year old having shown his pace in qualifying with a pair of third place starts at Thruxton, though luck has so far been against him in the races with just one top ten finish.

In the Masters Cup, Mark Howard was the only entrant at Thruxton, with the subsequent double win on his first outing with Pyro moving him to the top of the standings. Competition is back for Oulton though in the shape of his former 20Ten Racing team-mate Graham Field.

After pre-event testing on Friday, the Clio Cup field will return to the track at 10:55 on Saturday for qualifying, with Round Seven following later that day at 16:00. Round Eight meanwhile is set to be televised live on ITV4 at 13:00 on Sunday.

The championship standings heading into the weekend can be found here.

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Simon is an experienced journalist and PR officer, who has worked in the national motorsport paddocks for over a decade, primarily on the BTCC support package.
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