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Dienstag, 19 September 2017 14:25

Tight at the top as Renault UK Clio Cup Junior heads to Brands Hatch Indy circuit

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After a hugely encouraging start at Snetterton, Renault UK’s new Clio Cup Junior championship for 14 to 17 year-old drivers this weekend (Sat 23/Sun 24 Sept) moves to the famous Brands Hatch circuit in Kent where the competition is expected to be even closer.

There’s a tie at the top with Team Pyro’s Max Marzorati (Harrow) and WDE Motorsport’s Connor Grady (Smallfield) having come away from Snetterton ahead of their rivals equal on points.

Marzorati’s results at Snetterton were a first and a seventh; Grady’s two thirds. Marzorati’s win was remarkable for it came in his first ever car race. Grady’s results were similarly impressive for he had next to no prior running to the event. Both therefore will be brimming with confidence…

Now consider how close things were at Snetterton – despite it being one of the lengthiest circuits in the land, the championship being new to everyone concerned and the vastly differing levels of experience on the grid.

Less than a second covered the grid around the three-mile track so imagine what it might be on the much shorter 1.2-mile Brands Hatch Indy circuit.

Neither driver on pole position at Snetterton – Pyro’s Lorcan Hanafin (Guiseley) and MRM Racing’s Jack Young (Belfast) – was able to win. However Young did lead race two for a while before taking a valuable second place result which has kept him in contention.

The winner of that race was JamSport Racing’s Ethan Hammerton (Northallerton) who, had he not retired from the lead in race one, would surely be a lot closer to the top of the table…

His team-mates Gus Burton (Colchester) and Louis Doyle (Chorley) were also firmly in the hunt at Snetterton – the latter making it to the podium in race one – and each is within touching distance of the championship lead.

The scene then is set for two more excellent races as each driver continues to push for the eventual Champion’s prize – a free registration (worth £18,000) into the senior UK Clio Cup that races alongside the high-profile British Touring Car Championship.

To re-cap, the Clio Cup Junior cars are near identical to their senior counterparts – the only differences are a 100mph speed limit, five gears instead of six (albeit using the same superbly engineered Sadev paddle shift system) and high performance Michelin Pilot Sport 3 road tyres instead of racing slicks.

It’s little wonder therefore that they set new standards in junior saloon car racing in the UK in terms of engineering, reliability, safety and performance.

Current standings: =1. Max Marzorati & Connor Grady, 50 points; 3 Jack Young;, 48; 4 Louis Doyle, 46; 5 Gus Burton, 44; 6 Ethan Hammerton, 34; 7 Lorcan Hanafin, 16

Timetable: Renault UK Clio Cup Junior, Brands Hatch Indy

Sat 23 Sept               11:35              Warm-up (20mins)

Sat 23 Sept               15:25              Qualifying (20mins)

Sun 24 Sept              12:35              Race 1 (20mins)

Sun 24 Sept              16:15              Race 2 (20mins)

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