CAREER BEST CLIO CUP FINISH FOR RIDLEY-HOLLOWAY North Devon saloon car racer Jonathan Ridley-Holloway concluded by far his most consistent and successful race weekend of the 2008 ELF Renault Clio Cup at Croft Circuit in North Yorkshire...
CAREER BEST CLIO CUP FINISH FOR RIDLEY-HOLLOWAY
North Devon saloon car racer Jonathan Ridley-Holloway concluded by far his most consistent and successful race weekend of the 2008 ELF Renault Clio Cup at Croft Circuit in North Yorkshire yesterday, Sunday, 1st June, to climb to within just three points of the championship top 15.
The 23-year-old, who lives in Barnstaple, is improving with every outing in his Total Control Racing prepared Clio Cup race car and at Croft yesterday he took a superb top seven finish during the 10th round of the campaign -- just missing out on sixth place by a mere three 10ths of a second at the chequered flag.
Travelling the 350 miles from his home in the South West to Croft on Friday for pre-event testing, Jonathan instantly performed well and posted the seventh fastest time in practice, pace he carried through to qualifying on Saturday.
Lining up seventh on the grid for yesterday's 10th round of the season, Jonathan didn't make the best start but soon made his way into the top eight and then began to catch Aron Smith and Alex Osborne ahead.
With the latter running wide at the hairpin at the end of lap eight, Smith nipped through to sixth place and Jonathan managed to snatch seventh. The Bond Oxborough Phillips, A4 Apparel and PicoPC.co.uk backed racer pressured Smith all the way to the finish and in the process pulled some 2.4 seconds clear of Osborne over the last four laps.
"I'm really happy with the performance I showed on Sunday, pace wise it wasn't bad at all and especially considering we struggled with set-up a bit in qualifying", commented Jonathan, "Thanks to my consistent second fastest lap though it put us on row four and that gave me the chance to run with the other front guys which was a lot of fun.
"I didn't get a great start to the race, I dropped to eighth at the first corner and then my car was smacked on entry to Hawthorn which almost had me facing the wrong way round. I managed to catch the car though, got it all pointing in the right direction and went on to have a good race."
During Saturday's ninth round, Jonathan took the chequered flag in 14th position but this later became a top 12 finish when Chris Law was handed a time penalty and Gavin Pyper was excluded from the results.
Ridley-Holloway Promotes 'Devon Pride'
This weekend's races at Croft saw the roof of Jonathan's Clio Cup race car adorned with the Flag of Devon -- St Petroc's Cross -- as the young saloon car star bids to promote his Devonian roots through his racing.
Taking into account his season's best result during round 10 on Sunday, the presence of the flag looks to have already had a major bearing on his level of success and Jonathan is now aiming to attract increased support for his racing career from local businesses.
"This weekend was the first this year where I've run with the Flag of Devon on the roof of my car and it coincided with my best ever result in Clios -- hopefully that kind of luck will continue", said Jonathan, "We're making good progress so hopefully we'll be able to attract some additional local sponsors to help us make even bigger strides in 2009."
Jonathan will be back behind the wheel of his race car in double-quick time this week in preparation for the weekend's 11th and 12th rounds of the 2008 season which will take place at Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit in Northamptonshire.
After official testing on Friday, 6th June, the TCR driver will take part in qualifying on Saturday, 7th June, at approximately 17.45. Both races are then scheduled for Sunday, 8th June, with round 11 expected to commence at 09.50 and round 12 timetabled to get underway at around 15.45.
Away from its regular slot on the HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship package, the Clio Cup will compete at Silverstone next weekend as support to the pan-European World Series by Renault category and also the Eurocup Megane Trophy.
Some 150,000 spectators are expected to attend the hugely popular event, attendance figures which place the British round of the World Series by Renault second only to the Formula One British Grand Prix. At the corresponding event in 2007, which was held at Donington Park, around 135,000 enthusiasts filed through the gates.