Pearson on track for Monza

Renaultsport Clio Trophy Round 1 Preview Rising saloon car star, Rick Pearson will begin his European campaign at Monza this weekend in round one of the prestigious Renaultsport Clio Trophy. "Monza provides the ultimate kick-start to the...

Renaultsport Clio Trophy Round 1 Preview

Rising saloon car star, Rick Pearson will begin his European campaign at Monza this weekend in round one of the prestigious Renaultsport Clio Trophy.

"Monza provides the ultimate kick-start to the year," says Pearson. "It's a very popular championship, and with more than eighty cars expected to enter the race, qualifying will undoubtedly get a little hectic.

"It's crucial that we get inside the top thirty as that is the cut off point for qualification for round two; a double header meeting supporting the Monaco Grand Prix.

"We had a final shakedown test at Donington last Thursday, and after ninety-five relatively trouble free laps, I was very close to setting what would have been quite a competitive time. The cars are tricky to drive but I'm confident that we can make the grade."

Although Pearson's fiercely impressive Clio V6 is currently only earmarked for a limited programme of events in Europe, the Fulham ace is hoping that the arrival of Mintex in a European support capacity and a strong showing in round one will go some way to extending the present schedule.

"The Clio Trophy is the only saloon car support race at what is probably one of the most famous sporting events in the world," he explained. "Qualifying for Monaco would therefore be a big boost and I hope, would help to secure at least a percentage of the necessary funding for a part-season in Europe.

"I'd like to welcome Mintex on board for 2001 and thank them for their support. Along with ActiveShop.com and Freeparking.co.uk, I look forward to a successful association with them."

Tipped for title success in the 2001 Elf Clio Renaultsport UK Cup, Pearson has recently been forced to switch his attention to Europe following the loss of his UK title sponsor. A proven race winner, the thirty-one year old has instead pledged his commitment to success outside of the UK.

"It is sad that after the season we had last year, we've been unable to fund a challenge for the UK Championship," he says, "but the time commitments required to do the job properly are substantial and the budget we'd require would be somewhere in the region of £40,000. Both the ActiveShop UK Clio's are now for sale and it would appear that that particular chapter is closed.

"Although racing in Europe will be a new challenge for me, it's one that I'm looking forward to. I'm fully dedicated to making a name for myself in the Clio Trophy with a view to moving into the Porsche Super Cup in a few years time, and where better to start than at Monza this weekend?"

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Series General
Drivers Rick Pearson