Preview: Renault UK Clio Cup – Thruxton

by Stuart Richards

With an average lap speed of around 100mph, the Renault UK Clio Cup rumbles into the high speed Thruxton circuit for rounds five and six of this 2018 season.

As both races of the weekend are taking place on the Sunday, the thrills and spills of this one-make series will be shown live on ITV4.

In tribute to former Clio Cup Technical Commisioner Roy Fewkes, all of the Clios competing this weekend will be sporting a one-off logo in a mark of respect for Mr Fewkes.

Championship leader heading into Thruxton is Team Pyro man Max Coates who took the lead of the championship following Paul Rivett’s huge accident in the first race at Donington Park. With his mechanics managing to repair his car in time before the second race to score more valuable points come season’s end, Rivett will be aiming for better luck in Hampshire.

James Dorlin will be ambitious of making it three or four wins in a row following his Donington double, the man in form. But, as the accident to Rivett proved, anything can happen. However, Dorlin scored his first Clio Cup victory at this circuit last year following a late move on eventual champion Mike Bushell therefore to channel that manoeuvre mentally this weekend will give him a true psychological advantage.

Including Rivett and Dorlin, other former winners at Thruxton currently on the 2018 grid are James Colburn of Westbourne Motorsport and WDE Motorsport driver Lee Pattison who has taken two victories previously.

WDE does employ the current race lap record holder in a Clio around the quick Hampshire test. Dan Zelos will be optimistic in whether this means that he can continue his blistering pace at the circuit to build on his four solid points finishes so far this season.

Fastest in the Thruxton test a few weeks ago, Daniel Rowbottom will be anticipating a smooth translation of this pace to qualifying and the race.

The MRM Racing team of Jade Edwards and Brett Lidsey scored their best ever results in the series at Donington, whether this momentum continues is a strong possibility due to the improvements that the team and drivers are taking on board as the season progresses.

Former Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship driver Michael Epps could be a possibility for a good result this weekend, and as with MRM, the Matrix Motorsport team have been improving each weekend and a strong result for the rest of their drivers can not be far away.

Qualifying for the races take place on Saturday at 14:10 and lasts for thirty minutes. The fastest time by a driver sets the grid for race one and the second fastest time of a driver sets the grid for race two.

Both races take place on the Sunday at 10:45 and 15:10 and they will both be twelve laps in length. Both races are to be shown live on ITV4.

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