Ant Whorton-Eales set the pace in the official Renault UK Clio Cup testing ahead of this weekend’s races at Donington Park, with a hugely competitive day of running seeing the top twenty cars split by less than a second around the two mile circuit.
Aiming to bounce back from a mixed season opener at Brands Hatch two weeks ago, Whorton-Eales got his race meeting off to the best possible start with a fastest effort of 1m 17.453s in the second session of the day – a lap time two tenths of a second clear of anyone else.
Nothing could separate the next three drivers though, with just two hundredths of a second separating Mike Bushell, Paul Rivett and Paul Streather, the latter having topped the timesheets in the day’s opening session.
A hugely impressive showing for Rory Green, who only made a late decision to enter the meeting, saw him set the fifth fastest time in his WDE Motorsport Clio, finishing less than a tenth and a half of a second shy of his triple champion team-mate Rivett.
Early championship leader Lee Pattison rounded out the top six, just over four tenths of a second off Whorton-Eales’ best, with Charlie Ladell completing a positive day of running for WDE as their third driver inside the top seven.
Paul Plant, David Dickenson and Luke Kidsley completed a top ten split by 0.638s, with Max Coates being the fastest of the Graduate Cup runners in eleventh overall ahead of class competitors Senna Proctor and Josh Price.
In the Masters Cup meanwhile, championship newcomer Darren Johnson set the pace, nearly half a second clear of Graham Field, with series returnee Craig Milner a further second back at the bottom of the timesheets.
Full testing times can be found here.