HERRON TAKES FIRST EVER CLIO PODIUM AT DRAMATIC THRUXTON Teenage ELF Renault Clio Cup sensation Andrew Herron achieved his maiden category podium at Thruxton Circuit in Hampshire this afternoon during the penultimate race of the 2007 season,...
HERRON TAKES FIRST EVER CLIO PODIUM AT DRAMATIC THRUXTON
Teenage ELF Renault Clio Cup sensation Andrew Herron achieved his maiden category podium at Thruxton Circuit in Hampshire this afternoon during the penultimate race of the 2007 season, third position during a dramatic round 11 lifting him into an excellent eighth place in the championship standings.
Having already produced a string of excellent results during his first ever season of car racing with superb ability far belying his lack of experience, the 19-year-old from Dromore in Northern Ireland saw his dream of a podium result unexpectedly come true today following a chaotic conclusion to the first of the weekend's two races.
"I'm absolutely delighted to be on the podium in my first season", said Andrew, "I really wanted to finish in the top three before the end of the year and to have made that come true is a fantastic feeling."
Starting 10th on the grid, the JHR Developments ace confident he could have qualified higher up the order had his Clio not suffered from fuel surge during this morning's session, Andrew made a good getaway and although looking to challenge for ninth place through Allard he ended lap one in his starting position.
With an incident at the complex on the opening lap necessitating the deployment of the Safety Car, racing resumed on lap six. After overtaking Ed Pead, Andrew then started to pressurise eighth-placed Aron Smith whom he passed on lap 11.
Pushing hard to gain more ground before the end of the extended 15-lap race, little did Andrew -- nor any of his fellow competitors come to that -- expect the scenes which lay ahead at the end of lap 12.
Oil on the circuit at the Club Chicane, the result of a backmarker's spin and subsequent sump contact with the high kerbs, saw five of the top eight runners slide wide on the exit and slam into the retaining barriers on the outside.
Like JHR team-mate Jim Edwards Jnr and championship leader Martin Byford ahead of him, Andrew skilfully managed to avoid the chaos to cross the line into lap 13 in third place before red flags were shown and the action was brought to an early conclusion.
Looking back on the race, Andrew commented: "Starting 10th I hoped for a decent result and after passing (Ed) Pead and (Aron) Smith I was on the back of (Ben) Winrow and feeling as though I was definitely quicker, everything felt good and the car was quick.
"I saw the oil flag so I thought I should be a bit wary and back off which I did. Then, I just saw car after car going into the wall. I dabbed the brake, my car went a bit sideways, but I managed to recover it and avoid the problems with the oil. Then the red flags came out and we're classified third...I'm pleased with the result to say the least!"
The Brian Herron Contracts-backed driver added: "I should have had a podium finish at Snetterton so this really makes up for that. It'd be great to have another good result in tomorrow's race. You never know what can happen as today proved. I definitely had the same pace as the boys ahead of me so I'm confident we'll be strong.
"This result has given me even more confidence, getting onto the podium makes you believe in yourself. I came into Clios straight out of karting and didn't know what to expect. My first aim was to qualify for the Sunday races, then it was to be in the top 10 and now we're on the podium! It'd be fantastic to have another great finish tomorrow."