Mark Fish Motorsport clinched the Elf Clio Renaultsport UK Cup team and driver championships in fine style at Oulton Park on Sunday with top ten finishes for Jim Edwards Jnr and Rick Pearson. Prior to the Oulton Park race, Edwards Jnr topped the...
Mark Fish Motorsport clinched the Elf Clio Renaultsport UK Cup team and driver championships in fine style at Oulton Park on Sunday with top ten finishes for Jim Edwards Jnr and Rick Pearson.
Prior to the Oulton Park race, Edwards Jnr topped the driver standings with a fifty eight point advantage over Henry Taylor. With just one of the twelve round, 2000 championship remaining, Edwards Jnr needed only to finish inside the top ten in Cheshire to put the drivers title out of reach.
His task was made easier following a strong team qualifying session which saw the 32-year-old from Maidenhead claim his second successive front row position with a time of 1:34.554s. Team mate and father, Jim Edwards Snr gave one of his best showings of the year to line up fifth, three places ahead of Brands Hatch victor, Rick Pearson.
While Henry Taylor came through to take the win, Edwards Jnr drove a strong race to sixth position and the title of 2000 Elf Renaultsport UK Cup Drivers Champion. Further back, Fulham-based Pearson provided much of the mid-field entertainment, scrapping for his seventh top ten finish of the year in ninth.
"I'm really delighted to have won the championship, especially with Mark Fish," explained an ecstatic Jim Edwards Jnr. "I met Mark eleven years ago when I was racing alongside him in Renault 5's. We had some titanic battles in the fight for the 1990 championship. In the end I secured the title in the final race of the season and Mark took a close third.
"I've waited a long time for the right opportunity to have a major assault on a championship of this calibre. I'm really pleased for Mark - he's a genuine nice guy- and hopefully, we can work together towards a Touring Car drive for next year."
The Edwards Jnr/Pearson combination of sixth and ninth also secured the team championship for the Harlow Common-based squad. Team principal, Mark Fish called the achievement the culmination of more than seven years of hard work. "It's been an incredible year, " he said. " We've been up against some very experienced teams and drivers this season. It's been a year since this new Renault Clio championship was put together and here we are now with a championship-winning driver and a championship-winning team. It's an incredible feeling.
"The only achievement we haven't had is a one-two or a double podium finish for Jim (Edwards) and Rick (Pearson) so that is the aim for Silverstone. That would be the icing on the cake."
Team Principal, Mark Fish launched Mark Fish Motorsport in 1991 with a Renault Clio 16V team and went on to enjoy considerable success in the championship.
A seven year stint as Renault 5 GT Turbo Team Champions led to an enviable reputation for reliability and professionalism, most recently with current driver, Rick Pearson.
In 1998, Mark Fish Motorsport moved into the Fiesta 1.4 Zetec Championship and enjoyed a fruitful debut season as a two car team. The arrival of the Elf Clio Renaultsport UK Cup for the year 2000 posed a new challenge. Former Renault 5 GT Turbo adversary and 1990 champion, Jim Edwards Jnr signed up to spearhead the Mark Fish Motorsport assault on the championship. He has been partnered throughout the year by his father, Jim Edwards Snr, former Freeparking.co.uk SuperCoupe Cup race winner, Rick Pearson and Paul Lomax.
With both the driver and team championships secured, the rush for places in the 2001 line-up has already commenced. Heading the queue is long-term Mark Fish charge and leading Clio Cup runner, Rick Pearson who today announced that he has committed to the Harlow Common-based outfit for an assault on the 2001 championship. Pearson said: "Together with Mark Fish and my race engineer, Rob Friend, we have had an exceptional year! I know that there are a lot of drivers in discussion with Mark already and places in the team are likely to fill up very quickly.
"Since around fifty percent of my budget is in place already thanks to returning sponsors, ActiveShop and Freeparking.co.uk, I have now committed to the option which I believe will provide me with the best platform from which to launch a Championship-winning season."
Mark Fish Motorsport return to action in the final round of the Elf Clio Renaultsport UK Cup, in the night race at Silverstone on Saturday (16 September). The Clio's take to the track at 8.00pm.