All Eyes On Silverstone For Clio Series Finale

Luke Herbert and Paul Streather will fight it out for the 2015 Michelin Clio Cup Series title during the season finale at Silverstone this weekend, while Luke Pinder looks set to seal the Road class honours.

The championship’s first ever visit to the ‘Home of British Motorsport’ will see the Clio competitors battle it out on the International circuit, with Herbert heading into the weekend as the driver to beat at the top of the standings.

Herbert has an eleven point advantage over Streather, a gap that expands to 25 once ‘dropped scores’ are taken into consideration, thanks to six wins in eleven races so far for the Westbourne Motorsport ace.

“The plan in qualifying is to give it our all,” said Herbert. “The safest place to be in Clios is at the front, like I proved at Oulton when I was able to get away. If I don’t manage to qualify well it’ll be a case of staying out of trouble and finishing as close behind Paul [Streather] as I can.

“I do think Silverstone could suit us. Ideally, I’d like to go out and win the first race and then be able to have a relaxing race two. Until qualifying is over, though, we won’t really know what to expect.”

Streather won’t give up without a fight though, with 68 points on offer at Silverstone. The privateer has accrued four wins and two other podium finishes so far to sit fifty points clear of his closest competitor.

“I’m just going to go out and do my best as I always do,” said Streather. “It’s been an up and down year for me really, the start didn’t go to plan but there have been some good results – obviously the wins.

“It’s definitely do-able [to win the championship] and I’ll be trying my best, I feel like the car and I are better than we have been all year so I’ll be pushing as hard as I can to do what I can.”

Behind the top two, there is a close fight for the third place in the championship. 20Ten Racing’s Brett Lidsey currently holds the spot by ten points over Westbourne’s Sam Randon, while Andy Jordan is only two points further back for Finesse Motorsport.

Barring A Nightmare Weekend, Pinder Will Be Crowned Road Series Champion - Credit: Jakob Ebrey Photography
Barring A Nightmare Weekend, Pinder Will Be Crowned Road Series Champion – Credit: Jakob Ebrey Photography

In the Road class, Pinder holds a mammoth 45 point lead on drop scores heading into the finale courtesy of eight wins in eleven races, with just a top three finish required in the opening race to secure the title with a race to spare in his Jade Developments prepared Clio Renaultsport 197.

“We’ll just be approaching the weekend as we normally do, it’s never done until it’s done,” said Pinder. “We’ll be pushing as much as always, it’s worked so far so it wouldn’t make much sense to go changing what we do now. The main thing is not to take any unnecessary risks.

“If we can qualify at the front, the game plan is always to get in the lead and then back second and third up a little bit and let them battle it out. It’s another new track for me, we’ve not been there before but I don’t think anyone else has either so hopefully it’ll be a bit more equal from the start.”

Tyler Lidsey, Nic Harrison and Jake Honour could mathematically take the title, but look set to battle it out for second in the standings instead, with just splitting them ahead of the meeting. Lidsey and Honour have tasted victory this season, while Harrison was a race-winner in 2014.

Provisionally, qualifying for rounds 12 and 13 of the season at Silverstone International Circuit will get underway at 10.20 on Saturday, 19th September, with the first race of the weekend following at 15.00. On Sunday, 20th September, the final race of the year is scheduled to start at 11.15.