Competitors from the Michelin Clio Cup Race Series and Road Series are busy preparing for the penultimate meeting of the season which takes place at Snetterton next weekend, 30th/31st August – an event which will see the categories receive live television exposure for the first time.
Administered as always by the British Automobile Racing Club (BARC), day one of the race meeting will be broadcast live on Motors TV as part of the channel’s ‘Live Raceday’ format which strives to bring the best of club-level British motorsport to armchair enthusiasts across the country.
Going into the ninth and 10th rounds of the 2014 campaign, Total Control Racing’s Mike Robinson (Surbiton) has a strong 36-point lead in the headline Race Series after an excellent double victory at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit in July.
With five wins to his credit from the eight races contested so far, as well as two runner-up spots, Robinson is certainly in a healthy position ahead of the visit to Snetterton’s 300 Circuit – although one slip-up could easily allow Team Pyro’s David Dickenson (Wicklow, Ireland) to pounce.
Dickenson, like Robinson, is a highly experienced Renault Clio racer having previously competed in the Renault UK Clio Cup as well as the Clio Cup Italia, Clio Cup Bohemia and Eurocup Clio categories. With two wins and three other podiums under his belt, the Irishman has been the championship leader’s main opposition season-long and did head the standings himself at the start of the year.
Privateer Paul Streather (Hinckley) is an incredible third in the title race after a remarkable maiden campaign, one which has so far delivered three podiums. Starring during round one at Rockingham, where he was runner-up, Streather returned to the rostrum at Donington Park and finished second again in the first of the Brands Hatch contests, as well as setting fastest lap.
With only four races to go, the drop-score situation – whereby each competitor has to subtract his or her lowest score of the season from final totals – has to be considered but Streather is the only driver to have scored in every round. He is, therefore, the only competitor affected and his current lowest finish of ninth, when deducted, puts him level on points with Luke Herbert (Chichester).
Westbourne Motorsport racer Herbert, who is 12 points adrift of Streather on outright scores, has a significant 50 point lead over fifth placed Sam Randon (Ashbourne) who has switched from SV Racing to 20Ten Racing where he joins Brett Lidsey (Dartford) and Tom Butler (Allestree).
Lidsey, who rounds out the championship top six, is just three points behind Randon but only a single point ahead of race winner Brett Smith (Wellingborough) – the Pyro driver having taken three podiums from the four races he has contested. His team-mate Ollie Pidgley (Downton) is only two points further back in eighth place and the best of the inexperienced ‘Sport’ class contenders.
British Superkart competitor Ben Davis (Much Marcle), meanwhile, makes his car racing debut in the Race Series at Wisbech-based Finesse Motorsport alongside local Snetterton driver, and category podium finisher, Pete Bennett (Blundeston).
Having enjoyed standalone races last time out, where elated privateer runner Luke Pinder (Shipley) took his maiden circuit racing victory, the Michelin Clio Cup Road Series contingent will return to running as a class at Snetterton in their converted Clio Renaultsport 197 roadcars.
Although his five-race winning streak came to an end at Brands Hatch, Anton Spires (Milton Keynes) still holds an incredible 87-point advantage at the top of the Road Series standings for Westbourne Motorsport on overall scores, 78 points when drop scores are taken into account.
The battle for second place in the Road Series championship is particularly close with lady racer Sarah Franklin (Kettering) only one point ahead of CGHimports.com driver Nic Harrison (Stretton, Burton-on-Trent). On net-scores, though, Harrison has a 17-point advantage.
Fourth placed Jake Honour (Devizes) makes a welcome return to action with a fully rebuilt Clio, having missed the previous two races as a result of damage sustained at Donington Park, and the multiple race winner is determined to make an overdue return to the podium. Despite three non-scores this year, Pinder – after his Brands Hatch success – is only three points further back.
Qualifying for the Michelin Clio Cup Race Series and Road Series will take place at 11.10 on Saturday, 30th August, with round nine – which will be screened live on Motors TV – following at 15.25. Round 10 will commence at 11.45 on Sunday, 31st August.
Along with headline sponsors Michelin and Protyre, the Clio Cup Series is additionally supported by Ferodo and Safety Devices.
Provisional 2014 Michelin Clio Cup Race Series Driver Standings (after Rd8):
1st Mike Robinson, 218pts; 2nd David Dickenson, 182pts; 3rd Paul Streather, 167pts
Provisional 2014 Michelin Clio Cup Road Series Driver Standings (after Rd8):
1st Anton Spires, 255pts; 2nd Sarah Franklin, 168pts; 3rd Nic Harrison, 167pts