Silverstone II: Series preview

CHAMPION HAS SIGHTS ON BTCC STEP NEXT SEASON BEN WINROW will be crowned 2008 ELF Renault Clio Cup champion at his home circuit this weekend but is determined not to relax in the cockpit. The 23-year-old is in his fifth season on the BTCC...

CHAMPION HAS SIGHTS ON BTCC STEP NEXT SEASON

BEN WINROW will be crowned 2008 ELF Renault Clio Cup champion at his home circuit this weekend but is determined not to relax in the cockpit.

The 23-year-old is in his fifth season on the BTCC support bill and is keen to join the headline series in 2009.

"BTCC is the only thing for me to shoot for at this stage," says Winrow. "You've got to aim high and we're talking to sponsors all the time about plans.

"My supporters have had a whale of a time this year and I've had some old sponsors get back in touch. It's nice that people are taking an interest."

Winrow cites fellow Clio Cup champion Tom Onslow-Cole as an example to follow, saying: "I'd like to go as an Independent in my first year, because there's so much to learn.

"Having said that, I won't settle for second best because you're only as good as your car, as proved by the fantast ic package given to me by Team Pyro this season.

"This weekend will be great to race in front of a home crowd and I'll have plenty of friends and sponsors in the stands. It's always been about having fun and that's what I plan to keep doing!"

A MINUTE WITH... LEE PATTISON

How has Clio Cup been?

I'd be happier in the top five rather than 11th but took a gamble starting as a privateer. It's so competitive and we struggled a bit with set-up and driver feedback.

You started racing late?

I was 24 when I began karting, so about 10 years after most on the grid! This is only my second season in car racing but I'm loving it so far.

And you don't only drive?

I manufactured my own kart in 2006 and won a few club races. I'm dusting it off in a few weeks to race at Wombwell.

Your aim for the final races?

I want to get onto the podium if I can. Joining Robertshaw this weekend I'll have to get used to their set-ups on Friday and if it rains at Brands Hatch I'll be happy because I was quickest in the wet there before.

LEE PATTISON: "I'm a director in the family business, which manufactures storage equipment. Being a family affair it's always on your mind but racing gives you a chance to get away - at least for a while."

TOP DRIVES: Lea Wood was awarded the THB Clowes Driver of the Day prize for his fantastic second place in round 15, in which he set the fastest lap of the race on the way to a maiden category podium. In a second family-run car, Alex Osborne took the 100 GBP prize for round 16 after breaking into the top six for the first time this season.

- ITV's coverage of round 16 of the ELF Renault Clio Cup is available to watch via the official Renault Sport UK website, www.renaultsport.co.uk. The action will be seen on Motorsport UK in the week beginning 15th September. The show's viewing figures so far this season for episodes featuring Clio Cup totals 1,700,000 to 15th July.

- NOT only will Ben Winrow officially clinch the Clio Cup title this weekend, he is also chasing records for most wins and most pole positions. Currently with nine wins and 13 poles to his name, Winrow is aiming at the marks set by 2005 winner Jonathan Adam who had 11 wins and 15 poles, in addition to an unchallenged 14 fastest laps.

- MATT Allison has his second Clio Cup outing of the season at Silverstone this weekend, this time with JHR Developments. At Snetterton he impressed for Robertshaw Racing, but was denied a chance to go for a win in round 14 after a false start. Allison replaces Richard Cannon in car #1, while Steven Hunter switches to Derek Pierce's car #43.

-credit: renaultsport.co.uk

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Series General
Drivers Tom Onslow-Cole , Lea Wood , Alex Osborne