Ash Hand, Ashley Sutton and Ant Whorton-Eales head into this weekend’s Renault UK Clio Cup season finale at Brands Hatch GP in contention for the prestigious tin-top title.
With dropped scores taken into account, Team Pyro’s Hand goes to Kent with a fifteen point lead over team-mate Sutton and eighteen points on Maximum Motorsport’s Whorton-Eales, with 68 points up for grabs across the weekend.
Hand has his destiny in his own hands, and a victory in the opening race would confirm him champion with a race to spare regardless of where his rivals finish – but any other result takes the battle to the final race of the season.
Even if closest challenger Sutton were to go and take a clean sweep of the victories and bonus points on offer, a second and a third place finish would still give Hand the title.
Sutton needs to outscore Hand by eight points per race and finish ahead of Whorton-Eales in both to come out on top, so for example a pair of podium finishes would do it if Hand could finish no higher than seventh in either race.
Whorton-Eales needs the biggest swing to emerge victorious, so a pair of podium finishes would be enough for him if Sutton finished behind him in both races and Hand finished in ninth and tenth or lower.
Although Paul Rivett sits 59 points adrift of Hand and a maximum of 68 possible from Brands, even if he were to take maximum points and Hand failed to finish either race, the eighteen points that Hand would earn back on dropped scores rules Rivett out of contention for a fourth title.
While the destination of the main title is still to be decided, there’s already been a clean sweep of the other titles on offer by Team Pyro, who have won the Entrants Trophy and seen their drivers Sutton and Mark Howard win the Graduate and Masters Cup’s respectively.
Pyro recaptured the Entrants Trophy with a dominant campaign, outscoring their rival teams in fourteen of the sixteen races so far this campaign. The mid-season withdrawal of SV Racing meanwhile leaves WDE Motorsport and Team Cooksport battling it out for second place, the former holding a 38 point lead.
Sutton has stormed to the Graduate Cup win in thirteen of the sixteen races so far to give him an unassailable lead. Charlie Ladell, Rory Collingbourne and George Jackson are in a close-fought battle for second though, with 25 points separating them heading to Brands Hatch.
While Howard has only taken four Masters Cup wins so far this season, a consistent run of thirteen podiums in the sixteen races have given him the crown. Graham Field is confirmed to finish second in class meanwhile, with Peter Felix set to complete the top three with three wins in four races.