European Clio Cup incumbent Rick Pearson scored his best finish of the season in a one-off outing in the Belgian Clio Championship at Spa-Francorchamps last weekend. The Briton entered the race in order to gain track time ahead of round six of the...
European Clio Cup incumbent Rick Pearson scored his best finish of the season in a one-off outing in the Belgian Clio Championship at Spa-Francorchamps last weekend. The Briton entered the race in order to gain track time ahead of round six of the pan-European Renault Clio Cup, but did so well he now plans to join the German Clio Trophy for the Formula One Grand Prix support race at Hockenheim next weekend.
Pearson qualified fourteenth on the thirty-one car grid for the Belgian Cup, placing him mid-field for the start. Despite steering clear of much of the opening lap contact, the Sesterheim Motorsport car sustained a smashed driver's window from flying debris early on lap one. Having otherwise benefited from an action-packed couple of laps, Pearson sliced his way through the field, finishing in seventh place for his best result of the year.
Despite the extra track time on Friday, Saturday's European Clio Cup qualifying was fraught with problems and Pearson was forced to abort both flying laps. More bad luck was to follow when an expected rain shower doused the track and caused lap times to stall.
The much anticipated 'Clio Cup Speed Trophy' saw the ultra-powerful Clio V6 Trophy cars join the 2.0-litre Clio Cup runners for a blazing eight lap shootout. With both qualifying grids combined, Pearson lined up fortieth overall for the rolling start, twenty-fifth in class.
Despite the mass of cars ahead, Pearson -- a former Clio V6 Trophy runner- hauled himself up to eleventh in class and was dicing for tenth mid-race when a brake problem saw him overshoot the notorious Bus Stop chicane and drop back to twenty-first.
Pearson will add a further championship to his scorecard next weekend when he makes a one-off appearance in another Clio series, this time in the German Trophy, supporting the Formula One Grand Prix at Hockenheim.
Although Pearson has raced in Europe since graduating from the UK Clio Cup three years ago, he has never driven the 4.7 kilometre 'Ring. Since reconstruction last year, the circuit offers an abundance of overtaking opportunities, flowing curves, high speeds and breathtaking spectator views.
Pearson said: "For the first time this season, I feel I've really got to grips with the Sesterheim Motorsport Clio. We've been hampered by a lack of track time all year but now, with the Belgian Clio qualifying and race under our belts, we can look at moving things up a gear and hopefully, be at less of a disadvantage in the four remaining Clio Cup races.
"We're going to do the German Trophy Formula One Grand Prix support race at Hockenheim to consolidate what we've learned at Spa this weekend. I've never raced there before but I can't wait!"