Clio specialist Rick Pearson will contest the Belgian National Clio Championship at Spa-Francorchamps next weekend in a bid to gain valuable track time ahead of round six of the European Clio Cup. Pearson has raced in all but two of this ...
Clio specialist Rick Pearson will contest the Belgian National Clio Championship at Spa-Francorchamps next weekend in a bid to gain valuable track time ahead of round six of the European Clio Cup.
Pearson has raced in all but two of this season's Clio Cup races, but has been forced to curtail his testing programme due to budget restrictions. With just one day of pre-season testing under his belt after switching to the 2.0-litre cars at the beginning of the year, the Briton has been forced to play a costly game of catch-up in pre-race qualifying each weekend.
He said "I've been knocked off the circuit in two of my last three Clio Cup races after qualifying mid-grid. Part of the reason for this is the lack of time I've had on the track relative to the other drivers in the championship. Unfortunately, we just don't have the budget to test at this point in the season so an extra race is our best chance of getting useful information out of the car.
"We need to be in a stronger position in qualifying in order to avoid the mid-grid lottery and resultant panel damage in the race. As we can't go testing, an extra race seems to be the answer. The Belgian Championship race is one of the first events of the weekend so although it'll mean extra work for the team, I think the compensation will come in Cup qualifying."
The Belgian National Championship boasts some of the largest grids in Europe with more than sixty drivers expected to take part in Friday's race, a curtain opener for the Spa 24-Hour FIA GT event.
The European Clio Cup qualifying sessions will be split over two days, with session one taking place 19.00-19.30 on Friday 24th July, session two 10.15 -- 10.45 Saturday 25th July and the race 14.32- 15.02.