Magny Cours: Mark Fish Motorsport race report

Mark Fish Motorsport duo on target for Monaco Grand Prix. Renaultsport Clio Trophy: Round 1 Magny Cours Mark Fish Motorsport's Renaultsport Clio Trophy pairing of Rick Pearson and Paul Lomax finished 20th and 30th respectively in round one of...

Mark Fish Motorsport duo on target for Monaco Grand Prix.

Renaultsport Clio Trophy: Round 1 Magny Cours

Mark Fish Motorsport's Renaultsport Clio Trophy pairing of Rick Pearson and Paul Lomax finished 20th and 30th respectively in round one of the Trophy at Magny Cours on Saturday. The result means both Pearson (Fulham) and Lomax (Edenbridge) are on course for automatic qualification for the Monaco Grand Prix support race, to be held next month.

Qualifying
Rick Pearson #33: 18th-- 1m:52.562s
Paul Lomax #23: 34th-- 2m:12.669s

Making his debut in the Renaultsport Clio Trophy, Paul Lomax had a less than ideal introduction to the category when debris on the circuit found their way into his car and provoked a 130mph crash on the approach to the Adelaide hairpin at the start of the first qualifying session.

Fortunately, Lomax was unhurt despite his car eventually coming to rest on its side in the gravel trap. Heavy damage to the front left section of the car did mean however that he would be forced to sit out session two the next day.

In his second season of the Renaultsport Clio Trophy, Rick Pearson's first qualifying session was less eventful. Having completed one flying lap at the time of Lomax's high-speed crash, he finished in a provisional twentieth place after a spell of conservative laps which ensured that the Mark Fish Motorsport team could focus fully on Lomax's damaged Clio.

With repairs to Paul's car on schedule for the 5pm race, Rick was able to push for a time in Saturday's session two. His efforts were rewarded with a three quarter of a second improvement on his previous best, good enough to leapfrog two positions to eighteenth on the grid and his best ever qualifying performance in the Clio Trophy.

Race
Rick Pearson: 20th
Paul Lomax: 30th

Thanks to valuable assistance from German team Sesterheim Racing and a mammoth nineteen hour rebuild that saw the Mark Fish Motorsport team work through the night,

Paul Lomax's car was finally ready to race half an hour before the pit lane opened at 5pm.

Pearson's Freeparking.co.uk Clio V6 rocketed off the line at the start of the race. Narrowly avoiding the fracas at turn one and then again at the Adelaide hairpin, he'd worked his way into twelfth place at the end of the first tour.

In twelfth at the start of lap two, he was drawn into a monumental battle with Tottoli's Andrea Pagliai. The pair jostled for position for a further seven laps before the Londoner slid wide, conceding the place to the Italian.

True to the rough and tumble tradition of the Clio Trophy, the action edged up another notch in the mid-section of the race with Stefano Comandini side slamming his way past Pearson to claim fourteenth.

With just one lap to go Pearson was a safe fifteenth position and guaranteed a place on the grid at Monaco. Disaster arrived on lap fourteen however when Rick was hit from behind by Lorenzo Case. Having lost control of his V6 exiting the Imola chicane, Case made contact with Pearson as the Briton braked for the following corner, sending him spinning into the path of the second half of the field.

Recovering from that incident, Pearson was forced into a second spin on the fifteenth and final lap in order to avoid another car. He finished the race in twentieth place, ten ahead of the sister Freeparking.co.uk Clio V6 of Paul Lomax.

Having started from the back of the grid, Paul's newly rebuilt Clio had remarkably few teething problems following the Mark Fish Motorsport crew's phenomenal repair effort. Although he later said that his car had' interesting' handling, his thirtieth place means that a strong result on home ground at Silverstone should secure the required two grid slots at Monaco.

Round two of the Renaultsport Clio Trophy will be held at Silverstone, May 04 as part of the LG Eurosport Super Racing Weekend.

-mfm-

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About this article
Series General
Drivers Lorenzo Casé , Rick Pearson