Posted on: 12/05/2019

  • Freeman bounces back from mechanical woes in qualifying to score double victory and extend Race Series points lead.
  • Colburn's Sport Series winning streak continues, whilst Harrison puts Silverstone issues behind him with brace of triumphs.
  • Championship resumes at Zandvoort, Netherlands, over the weekend of 5th-7th July, 2019.
Pitbull Racing's Simon Freeman recovered well from an engine change after qualifying to win both Michelin Clio Cup Series races at Brands Hatch, extending his championship lead to 18 points in the process.

It was Westbourne Motorsport with William Waugh's Ronan Pearson who claimed a double pole position around the 1.19-mile Kent circuit, with compatriot and team-mate Paul Bell alongside on both occasions.

An engine change left championship leader Freeman sidelined after just half the session, with the team staying up until the early hours of Sunday morning to complete the switch.

A strong start allowed Freeman to pass Bell for second on the opening lap after a move to the inside of Druids, before taking the lead from Pearson at Clearways shortly after.

He would be kept honest to the chequered flag, however, with the eventual margin of victory over Pearson just 1.5 seconds. Bell took third - his second successive visit to the rostrum.

Though Freeman was able to cut through to second from fourth on the outside of Paddock Hill Bend on the opening lap of race two in pursuit of a double victory, passing Pearson proved a challenging task.

The duo were inseparable throughout, with Bell waiting patiently in the wings for any opportunity to pounce. A small lock-up through Clearways with five laps to run allowed Freeman to take the lead from Pearson, but he couldn't make good his escape.

A late lunge down the inside at the same corner on the final lap nearly handed Pearson a maiden victory in the series, but Freeman was able to get the undercut and win the drag race to the line - by 0.038 seconds.

Bell took a third straight podium behind, whilst Tony Verhulst (Westbourne) and MRM's James Joannou took career-best results of fourth and fifth respectively in both contests.

In the Sport Series, James Colburn's dominant run in the Westbourne-run, fourth-generation RS Clio 220 continued. 

He was made to work for it in the season-opener, with team-mate and Renault UK Clio Cup regular Aaron Thompson briefly ahead before dropping back late on, allowing Colburn to take the chequered flag two seconds ahead of Tyler Lidsey (MRM).

He would enjoy a more comfortable road to victory in the afternoon, however, taking the win by some six seconds over Thompson and Lidsey.

Defending Road Series champion Nic Harrison put a mixed season-opener at Silverstone behind him with a double win, re-claiming the points lead in the process.

Richard Colburn bounced back from a frustrating retirement in the opener to take the runner-up spot in race two, with Darren Geeraerts keeping both honest with another podium double - making it four in a row now for the Westbourne Motorsport racer.

Lidsey was also victorious in the non-championship final race of the weekend shared with the BARC Tin Tops, with Bell and Thompson completing the podium.

The Michelin Clio Cup Series heads next to its first overseas event at Zandvoort, Netherlands, over the weekend of 5th-7th July, 2019.


Simon Freeman said, "It was a great battle with Ronan, he’s been quick here all weekend. Coming into the last corner he made a mistake and locked up and I went down the inside,”

“I just tried to keep the lead from there, but it was so close coming across the line, I didn’t know what was going to happen. Ronan made a move coming into the last corner, on the last lap and I managed to undercut him, so it was just a drag race to the line.

“What the team have done for me this weekend is just unbelievable. They worked through the night to put a new engine in, we didn’t know what kind of pace we were going to have, so to get two wins and two fastest laps, it’s fantastic.”"

James Colburn said, "It's been another fantastic weekend and I'm really pleased to extend my winning streak in the Sport Series to four races in a row. 

"A huge thanks to everybody at Westbourne Motorsport for providing me with such a good car. The racing this weekend at Brands Hatch has been superb all round, so credit to everyone else too."

Nic Harrison said, "It's great to bounce back with a double race victory. We've had great pace all weekend, so credit to everyone at CGH Imports.com with Jade Developments for their hard work and support.

"It's good to take back the championship lead. Hopefully we can build on this success now for the rest of the season."