BRANDS DISAPPOINTMENT FOR LUCKLESS RIDLEY-HOLLOWAY Total Control Racing's Jonathan Ridley-Holloway saw his full season ELF Renault Clio Cup debut last no more than half a mile during round one on Saturday, 29th March; contact three corners into...
BRANDS DISAPPOINTMENT FOR LUCKLESS RIDLEY-HOLLOWAY
Total Control Racing's Jonathan Ridley-Holloway saw his full season ELF Renault Clio Cup debut last no more than half a mile during round one on Saturday, 29th March; contact three corners into the race leading to an unfortunate retirement.
Although disappointed to qualify 14th on the grid having not quite managed to get the best out of his tyres during the session, the 23-year-old still fancied his chances of a strong result inside the top eight, certainly a probable outcome looking at his pre-season testing pace.
Having seen Chris Rice's Clio expire directly ahead of him on the formation lap, Jonathan would actually start round one from 13th place and after a good initial getaway he was then hit from the rear on the approach to Graham Hill Bend.
Recovering the enforced slide well, the luckless Barnstaple racer was unable to avoid a spinner ahead of him on Cooper Straight and his car suffered serious damage to the front end, eliminating him on the spot.
With the TCR mechanics doing a superb job to repair the Bond Oxborough Phillips, PicoPC.co.uk and A4 Apparel backed car in readiness for round two on Sunday, 30th March, Jonathan hoped for a clean race and at the very least a handful of points.
After a decent start, the North Devon ace was soon the victim of some close attention once more, contact damaging his suspension and making any hope of a points finish difficult at best. Battling on, Jonathan was able to continue as several rivals fell by the wayside and he moved into 17th position.
With his car becoming more of a handful as the laps counted down, red flags on lap 19, due to an accident involving Gavin Pyper, brought an early end to the race. Although relatively unhappy with the weekend as a whole, Jonathan refuses to be down-cast and is instead looking forward to wiping the slate clean at Rockingham a fortnight from now.
"It's not been the weekend we had planned or hoped for but sometimes these things happen and you have to deal with it", said the former endurance racer, "You need to qualify well at Brands, it's so important. If I had started in the top six or so as our genuine pace should have allowed, it would have been a much different story.
"Starting so far down the order, you always have the risk of an accident and when I was hit on the first lap of Saturday's race there was nothing I could do. In race two on Sunday I was tapped again at the start which bent the front suspension and that was the end of it really, the alignment was ruined and then the drive-shaft had a problem."
Jonathan added: "It certainly hasn't been the start to the season I wanted or expected but we'll bounce back strong for the next two rounds and hopefully that will be the true start to our season. I'm confident the top six is achievable there."
Rounds three and four of the season will take place on 12th/13th April at Rockingham International Super Sports Car Circuit in Northamptonshire. Before then, Jonathan will take part in an official ELF Renault Clio Cup test at Thruxton Circuit in Hampshire -- his most local motor racing venue -- a week today, Monday, 7th April.