The Michelin Clio Cup Series headed to Brands Hatch to compete on the Indy circuit on the 25th and 26th June. Race one had to be red flagged due to the weather becoming too bad to allow the competitors to race in. the first attempt to run race one lasted until about half way through the race before the torrential rain got even worse. The organisers decided to run the race at the end of the days racing, the conditions had slightly improved compared to the earlier race.
During the second encounter it was Brett Lidsey who took the honours. Lidsey started the race from fourth on the grid but fought his way through to take the win aboard his MRM run entry. The only dry running the Clios had was qualifying earlier in the day where James Dorlin lead the way and stole double pole positions to assist with his championship lead. His advantage didn’t last long after an action packed first lap of the race saw the Westbourne Motorsport driver drop from first to fourth within a lap. On the following lap he managed to regain one place from MRM driver Tom Barley. Not long into the race the safety car was deployed after Damian Hirst was tricked out by the difficult conditions which saw him slide off into the Paddock Hill gravel trap during his debut in the championship.
Once the safety car peeled back into the pit lane Lidsey was able to break away from the other competitors and build up an advantage of just under four seconds from second place. He maintained the gap until the end of the race. James Dorlin attempted to fight back to climb up through the pack but reigning Road Series champion Luke Pinder stopped him from taking second place. Pinder defended for the remainder of the race to take second with Dorlin taking the third and final step on the podium. Sam Randon made the most of the tricky conditions and fought his way to fourth, passing Tom Barley towards the end of the race. Barley drove well in the conditions to take fifth place. Tyler Lidsey made a late move on series returnee Dan Kirby to take the final spot inside the top six competitors with Kirby finishing seventh. On lap six Ben Palmer managed to pass Ben Colburn to take eighth with the latter taking ninth at the flag. Jon Billingsley was the driver to round out the top ten of the competitors during his debut in the championship with new team Vanquish Motorsport.
In the Road class of the race it was Nic Harrison who led the race from when the lights went out until he passed the chequered flag to take his third win in a row. Jade Developments driver Jack Fabby claimed second in the road class with Sarah Franklin completing the Road class podium and the competitors after Hirst was unable to rejoin the race after having to be recovered out of the gravel trap earlier in the race.
©Fay Tilley 26th June 2016.