UK: Series Silverstone test summary

RIVETT MARKS RETURN WITH TESTING BEST Paul Rivett (Banstead) marked his return to the ELF Renault Clio Cup with the best time during official pre-season testing at Silverstone National circuit on Thursday, 20th March. The twice former champion,...

RIVETT MARKS RETURN WITH TESTING BEST

Paul Rivett (Banstead) marked his return to the ELF Renault Clio Cup with the best time during official pre-season testing at Silverstone National circuit on Thursday, 20th March. The twice former champion, also a double Clio Winter Cup champion, set a best of 1min 06.007s (89.39mph) at the 1.64-mile circuit on a day when changeable weather conditions challenged this season's Clio Cup racers.

The day was shared with the Formula Renault BARC Championship, four sessions allowed drivers the chance to make final preparations for the first two rounds at Brands Hatch Indy next weekend. It was Rivett in his JHR Developments car who made the best of the early conditions, with Team Pyro's Ben Winrow (Earls Barton) just 0.136s behind. Mardi Gras Motorsport's Gavin Pyper (Fleckney) was third fastest.

In session two, Rivett's team-mate Richard Cannon (Chesterfield) moved to the top of the timesheets with a lap of 1min 06.079s (89.29mph) with Pyper and Y4HR Miracle Drywash with SVE's Niki Lanik (Ashurst Wood) in second and third respectively.

Steady rain prior to and during session three saw the lap times plunge, Winrow providing evidence that his switch to Team Pyro for the 2008 season is working well with the fastest time of 1min 10.683s (83.47mph) more than half a second quicker than EPS UK with Solutions Racing's Robert Gaffney (Waltham Abbey) in second place. JD Pierce with Robertshaw Racing's Derek Pierce (West Kilbride) was third quickest, a mere 0.002s ahead of Coastal Racing's Carl Bradley (Morecambe).

The final session of the day saw Mardi Gras Motorsport lead the way with Irish teenager Aron Smith (Rathfarnham) fastest with a mark of 1min 08.598s (86.01mph) and his compatriot David Dickensen (Keatingstown) in third place. Derek Pierce recorded his fourth top-six classification of the day with the second fastest time.

Thursday, 20th March also saw three more drivers register for the 2008 ELF Renault Clio Cup with Rivett being joined at JHR Developments by Mark Hazell. Meanwhile, Full Speed Racing has signed Philip Glew to partner Chris Panayiotou (Cheshunt). Total Control Racing ran a fourth, unregistered, car during the test with experienced Clio Cup racer Nick Adcock (Bromyard) at the wheel.

Commenting on the forthcoming season, Paul Rivett said: "I know the pressure will be on me as a former champion and nothing less than the title will satisfy me, but I thrive on that sort of pressure. I've had my registration ready for a while now and after having had to wait until near the end of the last season to start racing, it's brilliant to be able to get on the grid right at the start of the year."

Rounds one and two take place at Brands Hatch Indy circuit on 29th/30th March. One qualifying session will set the grid for both races with each driver's fastest time determining the grid positions for round one and their second-fastest time setting the grid for round two.

-credit: renaultsport.co.uk

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Series General
Drivers Gavin Pyper , Philip Glew , Paul Rivet , Niki Lanik , Aron Smith