This weekend will see the Renault UK Clio Cup roar into action once again but this time at Donington Park during the Easter weekend.
At the top of the championship standings there is a tie between Lee Pattison and Mike Bushell so there is no doubt there will be close battles between the two plus many of the other competitive drivers this weekend. The circuit is well known for creating some of the most exciting racing throughout the years.
After Pattison and Bushell took a win each at Brands Hatch they will both be strong contenders for pole position as well as the race wins. They will have to be on their best form for the weekend to be in with the chance of success, the races at Brands Hatch proved that there are plenty of capable drivers within the championship that are hungry for the top step of the podium. This weekend will see a twenty-five-car grid, this being the biggest grid ever seen in the UK Clio Cup since the 2013 season.
Donington has wider and more curvy turns as well as being a high speed circuit which should give drivers more opportunities for overtaking. This year the lap speeds are looking to be quicker than last years, both the qualifying and race lap records were destroyed at Brands Hatch and no doubt the records at Donington will be beaten this weekend. The records at Donington Park are currently held by Ashley Sutton and Ant Whorton-Eales; both of which are now in the BTCC.
There are several drivers chasing down Lee Pattison and Mike Bushell – those drivers are headed by their teammates Paul Rivett and Jack McCarthy. It is no surprise to have Rivett challenging the lead duo but to have newcomer McCarthy there shows just how strong the sixteen year old is. During the Brands Hatch races the former karting champion kept on the tails of the front runners during his first ever cars races. Another newbie who impressed at Brands Hatch was James Dorlin – he and McCarthy head to Donington in the lead of the Graduates Cup.
Max Coates and James Colburn scored solid points at Brands Hatch – both headed into the event among the favourites to take podiums. Both drivers will head to Donington with a hunger to take podiums and wins. Max Coates qualified on pole position at Donington last year.
Shayne Deegan drove well at Brands Hatch despite having a few off track excursions throughout the weekend. Dan Zelos, Ollie Pidgley and Deegan have all built their confidence within the cars and are beginning to show strong performances.
The grid is full of very talented and capable racers, this forces some of the favourites to be pushed back down the order with any slight mistakes during the races. Team Pyro’s Ash Hand, Nathan Harrison and Kyle Hornby, DRM’s Daniel Rowbottom, Ciceley Motorsport’s Sam Osborne, Luke Reade and Jade Edwards, JamSport’s Lucas Orrock and Aaron Thompson, Westbourne’s Myles Colling, Oscar Rovelli and Ambrogio Perfetti will all be looking to have a more successful weekend at Donington after some ran into issues around the famous Brands Hatch Indy circuit whilst others had no luck.
Paul Streather was ruled out of racing at Brands Hatch after being involved in an unfortunate accident during the Friday test sessions. Graham Field was also unable to race after his car was too badly damaged during the testing accident with Streather. Shawn Taylor is a newcomer to the championship- appearing for the first time at Donington. Nathan Harrison debuted in the championship at Brands Hatch with reigning champions JamSport Racing but has since moved to Team Pyro.
The drivers will be on track at Donington Park on Thursday 13th April for the two test sessions ahead of the weekend, this allows them to test the cars and set ups ahead of the weekend of racing. The drivers will then go out to qualify at 2pm on Saturday afternoon. Both races will take place on Sunday at 10am and 3:50pm – both lasting for fourteen laps. Sunday’s racing will be shown during ITV4’s live coverage from Donington – including three BTCC races. The live coverage starts at 10:45am-6:15pm).