Three weeks on from Thruxton and the teams of the UK Clio Cup geared up once again for a weekend of fast-paced, action-packed racing from the 21-car lineup, which was sure to put on a hell of a show for the largest BTCC event crowd ever. Just as the weatherman predicted, the sun shone pretty much all weekend, which - let’s face it - makes everything that much more enjoyable, for drivers and spectators alike!
The weekend started off with an early morning qualifying session, and following practice sessions the previous day, all three JamSport Racing drivers turned out smooth performances with good results. Graham Field improved by around a second compared to practice, he was placed 21st on the grid. Luke Kidsley had fought with his car's front end in corners, having difficulty getting any rotation, but still managed to qualify solidly in 11th and 9th. Ant Whorton-Eales produced a typically reliable drive to produce a double 4th.
Race one came later on, on the Saturday, and it certainly didn’t disappoint. Whorton-Eales got a mega start off the line, and by the first corner was in poll position, with Mike Bushell (Pyro), who had started on poll, right on his tail. After fantastic racing, Ant wasn’t able to battle his way back to 1st place following Bushell's move to gain back his lead, and then proceeded to stretch the gap until crossing the finish, with Ant being chased by third place, Max Coates.
Graham Field had a good race towards the back of the grid, battling well for the first few laps. But then, unfortunately, had a slight moment, which meant he’d spend the rest of the race detached from the rest of the pack. He continued to drive hard though, and the JamSport Racing team cheered him on with encouragement with every lap.
Luke Kidsley, whilst still having an issue with his car’s ability to rotate sufficiently into corners, specifically the Knickerbook chicane, he managed a relatively comfortable yet still somewhat frustrating race. He finished a very respectable 10th.
Race number 2 at Oulton Park saw a backdrop of yet more beautiful sunshine and rare British heat. This warmth must’ve helped Ant get another speedy getaway of the line, this time getting him from 4th to 2nd, yet again on the ex-BTCC driver Bushell’s tail. Yet, this time, it would be Whorton-Eales whose fortunes came good, as Bushell had a hairy moment at the fast Old Hill corner, giving Ant the opportunity to diver past and take the lead along Avenue straight. From here, he continued to increase the gap all the way to victory, his fourth of this season so far.
Unfortunately, at the other end of the grid, Graham Field has more troubles after an off saw him a lap behind by the end of the race. Luckily, he sustained no damage and could therefore continue to complete the 8th round. Kidsley, on the other hand, had a much more positive race, having made his way up to 7th, from 9th, he had some excellent battles and managed to finish an impressive 8th.
Overall, the JamSport Racing team are delighted with this weekend’s results. Another win for Ant is a fantastic reward for all of us, and we appreciate all our drivers’ professionalism and sportsmanship, it really is a pleasure to have such great people to work with. We will continue to work as hard as we can to keep getting results, and would also like to thank the many fans who come by the JamSport Racing awning to say hello, take pictures, and interact - or even watch us and cheer us on on TV! We will see you in 2 weeks time, at Croft (North Yorkshire) where we will be back fighting again!
- JamSport HQ