The story of race 1 at Silverstone in Renault UK Clio Cup

Whilst the forecast for Saturday at Silverstone was due to be over cast, the Renault UK Clio Cup paddock was taken a little by surprise by the amount of rain that was falling today. This left a quandary; what way to set the car up? Full wet, with treaded, wet weather Dunlop Tyres or stick with the weather we were expecting dry, but overcast That would mean slick tyres. At 11.20am, when qualifying started, a dry line was starting to appear, that meant choosing slicks was the right way to go.

The track was “green” (meaning the grip had been washed away by the rain) and greasy, so I had to take care not to overdo it to damage the car or the tyres. This prudence was the right way to go.

The track quickly came to me, and I was third quickest, and comfortably too. However, as track conditions improved, so did everyone else’s times. I came in to put some new Dunlop tyres on. However, I had to return to the pits after one lap for another new tyre to be put on. Valuable time was lost and that meant little time to be at the sharp end.

I qualified 15th. However, less than a second was covering the 21 car field.

Race 1, Silverstone.
I was more than a little frustrated because in free practice 2 on Friday, the pace in the car was there. We were where we were. I had to concentrate on a good start.

At the green lights, I made a great start from the 8th row of the grid, I was really pleased. However, one of my fellow competitors very kindly helped me off the track and I fell to the back of the field. Over the course of the next 18 laps, I recorded the 8th fastest race lap proving that the pace was in the car and me. I quickly caught up with the field and the train of cars behind the leaders Mike Bushell and Ant Wharton-Eales.

At flag drop, I finished where I started; 15th. However, so many positives to take from the race.

- This is my first competitive race for a year; the race rust is gone.
- Team Pyro did a great job prepping my Clio; my race engineer Pete Bennett did an awesome job for me.
- The pace is there in me and the car; 8th fastest race lap proves that.
- In theoretical lap time taken from data straight after the race, I was the quickest, bar none.
- I was racy all day and I can look forward to welcoming my guests from RTECH, Alf Turner Butchers, Tulip Foodservice, ABE Ledbury on Sunday.
- Sunday’s race will be a cracker in front of all my guests and the ITV4 audience.

Now time to have a look through the data and recharge ready for race two on busy Sunday. Thanks for all your support.