Charlie Ladell has described his maiden Renault UK Clio Cup podium finish as “a long time coming” after he secured a second place finish in the final race at Donington Park, a result he admitted that he wasn’t expecting having started eighth on the grid.
The 19 year old capitalised from some close-fought action in front to gain ground during the race, before producing a couple of slick overtaking manoeuvres on his way to following team-mate Paul Rivett home across the line in third.
The result marks a first ever double podium finish for the WDE Motorsport team in the championship – which then became a one-two result following a post-race exclusion for the on-the-road victor Ant Whorton-Eales.
Ladell has knocked on the door of a podium finish ever since joining the championship, having picked up fifteen top six finishes prior to his podium breakthrough. Having come so close before, he expressed relief and delight at finally getting one under his belt.
“It’s been a long time coming for sure. I’ve finished in the top six quite a few times without getting onto the podium, so it feels amazing to get there,” said an elated Ladell.
“To be honest I wasn’t expecting to get there in that race, starting from eighth, but I’m definitely taking it. I managed to get lucky with a few incidents, before getting down the inside of Lee [Pattison] at the chicane and then working with Paul [Rivett] to edge away.
“It really helped having my team-mate in front, I knew what he was going to do and we could work together to get a gap behind me. I’m so happy to get on the podium with him, a double podium for the WDE team is brilliant.”
Ladell hopes the breakthrough podium finish can be the first of many this season, and is targeting further success next time out at Thruxton – having taken eighth and fifth place finishes at the unique high-speed circuit last season.
“It’s a massive confidence boost for me,” he added. “Now I’ve got one out of the way, I feel I’ve got more to come and I can’t wait for the next few rounds.
“I definitely feel we can be strong at Thruxton. I feel it’s one of my better tracks, you’ve got to be brave and I can’t see why we can’t challenge for more podiums there.”