UK CLIO CUP DRIVERS SHOW CLASS IN GERMANY
ELF Renault Clio Cup with Michelin driver Alex MacDowall led an impressive showing of six UK drivers by finishing second overall in a specially organised international Clio Cup race at the legendary Nuerburgring circuit in Germany on Friday, 22nd May.
Eighteen-year-old MacDowall from Carlisle who races in the UK salon-car series for Total Control Racing only narrowly missed out on the top spot in the unique event organised by Renault Sport Germany and Renault Sport Technologies which attracted a total of 45 Clio Cup racers from all over the world.
The four lap, 100km race included competitors from as far as China and USA as well as six UK entries in the form of current Clio Cup drivers MacDowall, DTR's Stephen Tyldlsey (Guiseley, Leeds), APO Sport's Alex Osborne (Northampton) and former Clio racers Jonathan Ridley-Holloway and Ray MacDowall (Alex's father). Rob Austin, Team Principal of Team RSA which now concentrates on the Belgium Clio Cup Championship, was the sixth UK driver.
After the day's earlier x2 1 hour qualifying sessions, MacDowall lined up for the rolling start in second behind Germany's Mezger Manuel. The first two laps saw MacDowall all over the back of Manuel's leading Clio until lap three when a back-marker held up Alex. On the final lap, it was Manuel's turn to be slowed by a back-marker allowing MacDowall to catch and challenge for the lead with the two drivers crossing the line just inches apart.
Meanwhile, North Devon racer Ridley-Holloway finished fourth with Osborne taking fifth and Ray MacDowall in sixth, resulting in a total of four UK drivers finishing inside the top 10.
The event was watched by crowds of nearly 200,000 who lined the purpose-built 25km track which is widely regarded as one of the toughest and most demanding circuits in the world.
Commenting after the race Alex MacDowall said: "It was a fantastic experience and a really close race, especially as I've never driven at the Nuerburgring before. If it wasn't for the back-markers I think it could have been a different result. I'd certainly like to race next year given the opportunity."
Clio Cup Championship Manager Simon North said: "To have so many British entries finish inside the top ten is a great achievement and a testament to the quality of drivers in the UK championship."
-credit: rumcc uk