So here we are, rounds 5&6 of the air Asia clio cup championship. It’s only a month since the first race of the season but I have already had 3 of the 8 weekends of the championship.
For Thruxton, things were once again slightly different as far as the timetable went. With no Friday practice it was straight into qualifying in very tricky weather conditions on the fastest circuit in the country.
In the wet each car has to stay on the one set of tyres that you start the qualifying session on, so it is all about making the most of the tyres and conditions as early as possible. I made a great start to the session posting the fastest lap in the first 10 minutes,unfortunately I may of pushed too soon as I got pushed down the order to p4 and p5 for the two races as the other drivers went out to set their fastest laps.
Me and the team tried a few things with the car but by this point the best had been taken out of the tyres so we had to settle for the positions we had already managed early on.
In the first race I made a good start and got up to p3, but unfortunately Adam Bonham had made a slow start infront of me and I got blocked in behind him, pushing me back down to my p5 starting position.
With the track having a dry line the team had opted for slick tyres but the problem was it was still damp off line, so I struggled to get past into p4. But, on lap 5 I managed to find a way past and slip into p4 and start the hunt to Bonham and the final podium slot.
I managed to get right up onto Bonham’s rear bumper in the final chicane on the last lap but just ran out of time so I just settled for a solid 4th position. I know I was a fair bit quicker than Adam but I just ran out of time and I wasn’t going to make a stupid move.
Sundays race had terrible weather conditions with the race having to start behind the safety car as the track was so water logged. The rain was so bad that all the drivers were struggling to see the edge of the track due to the spray. My job was made even harder, as when Paul Rivett managed to find a way past on the first lap a stone was flicked up cracking the windscreen right across it causing the heated screen to stop working. This meant as of lap 3 the windscreen was totally fogged up, not ideal for the terrible conditions.
A safety car was deployed at the half way mark as Mike Bushell had a heavy impact at the first corner causing severe damage to his car and the tyre wall.
At the restart I got the jump on team mate Files into the complex for the first time but a big slide whilst aqua planing on the water at the following corner allowed Files back past.
For the next 2 laps Me and Files battled it out for the final podium spot, but i managed to get the upper hand into Church, the fastest corner in the country. I then got my head down and chased down the front two and on the final lap I went around the outside of triple champion Paul Rivett into the last corner, not quite managing to slow the car down. I had to make a detour through the chicane but managed to hold onto the 3rd position from James Dixon.
This result leaves me at the top of the championship by 22 points heading into a 6 week break from the Clio Cup Championship.
I will now be heading to the Brands Hatch DTM race to race a Lotus Exige Cup car in the Lotus Cup UK with one of my sponsors on the 19th of may.
A massive thanks must be given to all of the brilliant sponsors and supporters who have given me the opportunity to show what I can do and help me to the top of the championship at this early point. I know that there are lots of races to go still but, leading at this point feels good and gives me confidence heading into the other races.
Photo Credit: Jakob Ebrey