BRANDS HATCH PODIUM FOR HERRON ON CLIO CUP RETURN Andrew Herron made an excellent return to the ELF Renault Clio Cup during the opening round of the 2009 championship at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit in Kent today, Saturday, 4th April -- a podium ...
BRANDS HATCH PODIUM FOR HERRON ON CLIO CUP RETURN
Andrew Herron made an excellent return to the ELF Renault Clio Cup during the opening round of the 2009 championship at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit in Kent today, Saturday, 4th April -- a podium finish getting his title campaign off to an impressive start.
Northern Ireland's most promising young saloon car prospect, who last competed in Clios two years ago before embarking on a season in the SEAT Cupra Championship in 2008, was instantly on the pace during qualifying this morning and held pole position for around half the session.
In the end, the 20-year-old from Dromore in Co.Down just missed out on seizing the top spot on the grid by the slimmest of margins, a mere 0.080 seconds splitting the top three. Nonetheless, Andrew was very happy to be on the second row in third place and confident of mounting a podium challenge.
At the start of the race itself, the JHR Developments racer made a decent getaway and looked all set to run with pole-sitter Alex MacDowall and Philip Glew to make it a three-way battle for the lead but a sideways moment as he ran through Paddock Hill Bend saw Andrew lose valuable time.
Recovering the car well, he got back into his rhythm and attempted to get back on terms with the lead pair but from that point on, the car didn't quite have the grip he wanted and he ran in third place for the 20-lap duration. Even so, Andrew's race pace was still very impressive as he lapped just a 10th of a second shy of Glew's best and just two 10ths of a second away from MacDowall's fastest lap of all.
Andrew commented: "Going through Paddock on the first lap the car got a bit sideways and so I had to get on the power hard to recover it. Luckily I pulled it round but after that I struggled a wee bit with the car through Clearways in particular. I expected third place would probably be the best we could manage due to (Philip) Glew and (Alex) MacDowall being very quick here.
"Brands Indy isn't one of my better tracks so to be so close to them today was good. As the season progresses, I'm sure we'll be right at the front and fighting for those wins. We start tomorrow's race from eighth on the grid so another podium will be very hard to come by. Overtaking is incredibly hard at this track but I'll be giving it my best shot."
Race two of the 2009 ELF Renault Clio Cup season is timetabled to begin at 13.35 tomorrow, Sunday, 5th April, and will be broadcast live on ITV4 which is available through the Freeview service on channel 28, at channel 117 for cable subscribers and via channel 120 on Sky Digital.