The Michelin Clio Cup Series delivered another excellent weekend of racing as Ben Palmer makes it a brilliant six wins in a row.
Ben Palmer (BPR) extends his championship lead further and picks up another two wins in the process, giving him a clean sheet for 2018.
While it was rookie Ronan Pearson (Westbourne Motorsport) on pole position for Race 1, it didn’t take long for Palmer to make his slick move at Paddock Hill on the first lap. Palmer subsequently held on to his lead.
In the second race Palmer was in charge of the pack from lights to flag, dealing with tricky traffic in the process to show his excellent race craft.
Pearson had another positive weekend, being promoted from third to second in Race 1 after a five second penalty was handed to Tyler Lidsey (MRM Racing). In Race 2, Pearson held on after a difficult start and secured fourth place.
Tyler Lidsey claimed his first lot of silverware of the season at Brands Hatch, showing impeccable pace at his home race. Lidsey was involved in some skillful battles with Pearson and Simon Freeman (Pitbull Racing) during the two races. Lidsey goes home with a second and third place in the bag, and new found momentum for the next outing at Thruxton.
One man back on the podium this weekend was John Hamilton (Jade Developments). He had a good finish in the second race to see him stand third on the podium. The driver moved up on the grid after making a great overtake on Pearson in the early stages of the race.
Simon Freeman was set for a podium in Race 2, yet in the closing stages of the event the driver slowed dramatically and he had to nurse his car home. Race 1 was more promising and he finished fourth, claiming another lot of points for his championship battle.
Ben Colburn (Westbourne) bounced back in the second race, managing a pleasing fifth place finish after not finishing in the opener.
Westbourne’s Finlay Robinson continued to impress this weekend in his first season in the Race Series. After qualifying sixth, the driver ramped up the pace to put in the fastest lap of Race 2. He leaves Brand’s Hatch with a fifth and sixth place finish.
Tony Verhulst (Westbourne) and Steve Williams (Jade) showed their race craft in the events, keeping their cool at the challenging Brands Hatch Indy circuit to take home another lot of points.
In the Road Series it was a lights to flag victory for Nic Harrison (Jade) in Race 1, although the gap to the next best man was less than one second. In Race 2 he finished second, behind the guest driver of James Colburn (Westbourne).
There were exciting battles in Race 1 as Sean Thomas (Westbourne) and James Colburn jostled for second place. Thomas came out on top, but the guest driver still managed an impressive third place finish.
However, in Race 2, Colburn was able to show his true pace as he romped home to victory, despite not participating in any testing prior to this weekend.
James Joannou (MRM) had two great races, lapping consistently in Race 1 to finish fourth. In Race 2, he got himself on the podium with a third place result.
After setting the fastest lap of the race in the first event, Sean Thomas landed second. However, he was unable to finish Race 2 despite looking strong for another trophy.
Tom Oatley (Prota) had a good weekend in his second outing of the series this season, moving to the next round with a fourth and a fifth. In Race 2 he was only 2.719 seconds off of Joannou and narrowly missed out on the last spot on the podium.
Darren Geeraerts (Westbourne) had another solid weekend and leaves with two finishes under his belt.
Established as an independent series in 2014, the Michelin Clio Cup Series provides a home to the 2.0 litre, third-generation Clio Cup car used in the flagship Renault UK Clio Cup in support of the British Touring Car Championship until 2013.
The championship returns in July at Thruxton on the weekend of the 07-08, before heading to Snetterton and Anglesey. The final rounds of the season take place at Silverstone on the International formation of the circuit on October 06-07.
Ben Palmer said, “I managed to have a lot more control in Race 2 and pulled a gap lap after lap and crossed the line P1 again. I am very happy; I’ve won six races on the trot and had some really good points this season.
The car feels brilliant, the team have worked hard and we’re looking strong for the rest of the year.”
Tyler Lidsey said, “I’ve had a lot of sponsors come down this weekend for my home race, so it’s been an excellent result. I’ve got to say a massive thank you to my team for giving me such a great car. I’ve felt so comfortable in the car all weekend, so you could say that it’s been pretty perfect.”
Nic Harrison said, “Overall it has been a good weeknd. I love racing here at Brands Hatch and this time it’s been no different. I’m happy with Race 1 and I must congratulate James for his performance in the second race.”
James Colburn said, “It was so good to get out there and race again. It was a bit tense between races as we were trying to get my little brother’s car rebuilt, so I didn't really think much ahead about the second race. Maybe that’s a good tactic for me! The team have done an excellent job and I hope to be back racing in the series soon.”