SALOON CAR ACE HERRON EYES CLIO RETURN AFTER STORMING TEST RUN
Former ELF Renault Clio Cup race winner Andrew Herron is eyeing a return to the series this year following an outstanding performance during general testing at Thruxton Circuit in Hampshire last Friday, 20th February.
The 20-year-old Northern Irishman, who raced in the now defunct SEAT Cupra Championship last year, made his competitive car racing debut in Clios in 2007 and rapidly became a front-running force. His maiden season of action culminated with Vice-Champion's honours in the ELF Renault Clio Winter Cup, taking his first race win during the third round.
At Thruxton on Friday, the talented Dromore-based youngster took part in three of the four allocated sessions and put in a truly sensational performance at the wheel of a JHR Developments run car.
Lapping with an unofficial best time of 1m 23.8 seconds, the Brian Herron Contracts backed ace matched the 2008 pole position time while on used tyres and was the quickest driver of the day. He was also around three 10ths of a second faster than the existing Clio Cup lap record.
Invited by JHR team boss Steven Hunter to test with the team at Thruxton, Andrew is now fairly certain a return to Clios is his most likely destination for the 2009 motor racing season, delaying his planned graduation to the Porsche Carrera Cup GB Championship due to a budget shortfall.
"I really enjoyed Friday's test run", said Andrew, "It was great to be back in a Clio and although they're obviously slower than the turbo-charged SEAT I raced last year, they're much more fun to drive. The test was very positive and if we do return to Clios this year, I'll be going all out to try and win the championship.
"The tyres Renault are using for 2009 are different to the ones we had when I last had a run in a Clio in the 2007 Winter Cup. I took some of the old rubber I was used to during my opening run and managed a time of 1m 23.8 seconds -- equal to last year's pole position time."
Andrew added: "Obviously, we were all really pleased with that and as soon as I got used to the new-style tyres I managed to almost match the time with a 1m 23.9 second lap. I didn't expect to be fastest of all considering it's the first time I've been in a Clio for about 15 months. It certainly looks very positive if we do sign a deal to race with JHR."