UK: Series newsletter 2009-06-25

SUCCESSFUL FIRST OUTING FOR NEW CLIO CUP CAR AT SNETTERTON Featuring a new wishbone design and updated bodykit, the new Clio Cup race car enjoyed a successful first outing during official testing in the 2009 ELF Renault Clio Cup with Michelin at...

SUCCESSFUL FIRST OUTING FOR NEW CLIO CUP CAR AT SNETTERTON

Featuring a new wishbone design and updated bodykit, the new Clio Cup race car enjoyed a successful first outing during official testing in the 2009 ELF Renault Clio Cup with Michelin at Norfolk's Snetterton circuit on Wednesday, 24th June.

The one-day test session provided the first opportunity for teams and drivers to put the new racer through its paces -- ahead of its inaugural outing during rounds 11 and 12 at World Series by Renault -- with positive feedback coming from all twelve drivers testing with it.

Total Control Racing's Alex MacDowall (Carlisle), using the new car which is based on the road-going Clio Renaultsport 200, set the fastest overall time for the session posting a 1min 17.912s (90.19mph average) around the 1.9520-mile circuit -- beating the current lap record for the circuit by 0.063s.

The official test session got underway in glorious sunshine which continued throughout the day. The morning session, split into 2x 50mins, saw returning driver Stefan Hodgetts (Redditch) racing for Mardi Gras Motorsport and Range Storage Ltd with Coastal Racing's Lee Pattison (Liversedge) begin as the leading drivers lapping in the late 1m 18s.

Total Control Racing's Mike Robinson (Surbiton), Amery Motorsport team-mates Dave Newsham (Inverness) and Robert Gaffney (Waltham Abbey) along with Westbourne Motorsport with Stancombe Vehicle Engineering's James Colburn (Worthing) also ran well during the opening two sessions.

In the 2x 45mins afternoon sessions, it was 2007 Clio Cup runner-up Hodgetts who continued to impress until 18-year-old MacDowall became the first and only driver to go into the 1m 17s during the final session to go quickest overall. There were also strong times set by Coastal Racing's Carl Bradley (Morecambe) and Total Control Racing's Daniel Lloyd (Huddersfield). Elite Motorsport's Jake Packun (Bolton) also produced one of his best performances during an official test going seventh quickest in the final session.

Championship leader Team Pyro's Phil Glew (Tothill, Lincolnshire) was absent from the test.

Commenting on his performance and the new car, MacDowall said: "The new car took a bit of getting used to at first as it felt quite 'snappy' due to the changes to the front end. But by the third session of the day it felt really good and meant you got a much sharper turn-in and also less understeer. The car definitely feels better and I'm really pleased with how the session has gone today."

Twenty-six-year-old Hodgetts added: "I like the new car a lot. The new alterations mean the car changes direction a lot quicker making it feel much better through the corners."

Colburn, the youngest of the Clio racers, commented: "There's definitely more turn-in and the car feels much more responsive. The extra grip also gives you more time and confidence through the bends."

Rounds 11 and 12 of the 2009 ELF Renault Clio Cup with Michelin take place at Silverstone Grand Prix circuit on 4th/5th July as part of World Series by Renault.

-credit: rcc uk

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Series General
Drivers Stefan Hodgetts , Alex MacDowall , Dave Newsham , Daniel Lloyd