27th May 2015


After what seems like an eternity since the thrilling championship curtain-raiser for the Michelin Clio Cup Race Series and Road Series at Rockingham last month, the 2015 campaign will make its eagerly awaited resumption at Thruxton in Hampshire just over two weeks from now on 13th/14th June.

Marking the first ever visit to the 2.35-mile track for both categories, rounds four and five of the season will also deliver championship debuts for two drivers at opposite ends of the experience spectrum – former British GT Class champion and British Touring Car Championship front-runner Matt Allison (Norwich) and promising 16-year-old talent James Dorlin (Barnsley).

Allison, who enjoyed great success in the BTCC-supporting Renault UK Clio Cup before graduating into British GT and touring cars, has been away from full-time action since 2008 and was expected to make his Michelin Clio Cup Race Series bow at Rockingham.

An unfortunate accident in testing, however, put the brakes on those plans so the racing returnee – who will celebrate his 32nd birthday on the Saturday of the Thruxton meeting – is hungrier than ever to be back in action with his privately entered Intercity Racing team.

“I’m really looking forward to Thruxton and getting our season started”, said the 2005 Renault UK Clio Cup Winter Series Champion, “After such a disappointing start in testing during the pre-season, everyone at Intercity Racing is absolutely raring to go.”

Dorlin, meanwhile, only celebrated his 16th birthday the weekend after the season opening race meeting so he was unable to participate in the first three rounds. Arriving in the Race Series as the reigning Junior Saloon Car Champion, the teenager boosts the Westbourne Motorsport entry to three cars in the headline category.

Importantly, Dorlin links up with two of the quickest drivers in the championship, early series leader Luke Herbert (Chichester) and multiple podium finisher Sam Randon (Ashbourne), so he will be able to draw on some excellent experience.

“I am really excited for Thruxton, I can’t wait to get back out racing again”, said Dorlin, “This year is going to be the learning year for me as it’s a new car and a big step up from the Junior Saloon Car Championship, so I will be finding my feet and getting to grips with it all.

“I’m sure with the help of Westbourne we should be more than fine and hopefully come away with some decent results. Thruxton is a new track to me as well, probably the most daunting circuit to have a debut, but I can’t wait to get out racing in the Clio Series. Why not kick it all off at Thruxton!”

During the Rockingham triple-header just over six weeks ago, Herbert got his Race Series title bid off to a fantastic start with victory in races one and two, and second position in the third encounter, to open up a healthy 22 point advantage over privateer Paul Streather (Hinckley).

Streather, embarking on his second season in Clios this year, bounced back from an enforced spin in race one to challenge for victory in round two. Although unsuccessful after a last lap moment while dicing with Herbert for the lead, Streather went on to secure a popular maiden win in round three. 

Third in the Race Series standings, and just a single point behind Streather, is Randon who took a brace of podiums from the season-opener. He is only three points ahead of 20Ten Racing’s Brett Lidsey (Dartford) with Finesse Motorsport’s Andy Jordan (Bridgnorth) only two points further adrift.

Ben Davis (Abingdon) rounds out the top six in the championship for the Finesse engineered RacingforHeroes Academy, the top Sport Class runner having impressed on only his second weekend in cars during the series curtain-raiser.

Pinder aiming to extend perfect start in Road Series

Michelin Clio Cup Road Series points leader Luke Pinder (Shipley) absolutely dominated the first weekend of the season and will arrive at Thruxton with a perfect points tally of 102, having taken the bonus points for fastest lap in each of the three Rockingham contests as well as a hat-trick of wins.

Pinder, who is this year racing as team-mate to Jake Honour (Devizes) at Jade Developments, was never troubled and Honour makes it a Jade one-two at the top of the championship after annexing a trio of second places last time out.

Third in the Road Series for with 20Ten Racing is double Rockingham podium finisher Nic Harrison (Burton-on-Trent), the 2014 Vice-Champion, five points ahead of championship newcomer Matt Fincham (Aylesbury). 

Competing with his own Go Racing Motorsport squad, Fincham battled a variety of mechanical woes on the first weekend, as well as the after-effects of tonsillitis, to claim his maiden podium in round three. The category’s sole lady competitor Sarah Franklin (Kettering) is fifth in the standings for Westbourne with rookie Tyler Lidsey (Dartford), younger brother of Race Series driver Brett, sixth.

Qualifying for rounds four and five of the Michelin Clio Cup Race Series and Road Series is scheduled to get underway at 10.50 on Saturday, 13th June, with the first of the weekend’s two races following at 16.20. On Sunday, 14th June, round five is timetabled to begin at 15.05.

Along with headline sponsors Michelin and Protyre, the Clio Cup Series is additionally supported by Ferodo and Safety Devices with further support for the Road Series from Monster Sport Europe.

Provisional 2015 Michelin Clio Cup Race Series Points (after Rd3):

1st Luke Herbert, 92pts; 2nd Paul Streather, 70pts; 3rd Sam Randon, 69pts;

4th Brett Lidsey, 66pts; 5th Andy Jordan, 64pts; 6th Ben Davis, 60pts

Provisional 2015 Michelin Clio Cup Road Series Points (after Rd3):

1st Luke Pinder, 102pts; 2nd Jake Honour, 84pts; 3rd Nic Harrison, 72pts;

4th Matt Fincham, 67pts; 5th Sarah Franklin, 56pts; 6th Tyler Lidsey, 52pts

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