UK: Andrew Herron Rockingham preview

HERRON BIDDING FOR VICE-CHAMPION'S SPOT AS SEASON NEARS CONCLUSION Northern Ireland's Andrew Herron heads into rounds 17 and 18 of the 2009 ELF Renault Clio Cup this coming weekend, 19th/20th September, determined to secure a brace of podium ...

HERRON BIDDING FOR VICE-CHAMPION'S SPOT AS SEASON NEARS CONCLUSION

Northern Ireland's Andrew Herron heads into rounds 17 and 18 of the 2009 ELF Renault Clio Cup this coming weekend, 19th/20th September, determined to secure a brace of podium finishes as he strives to end the season as category Vice-Champion.

The 21-year-old, who drives for the JHR Developments team, has been a consistent front-runner throughout the year on his return to Clio Cup action and although he's had more than his share of bad luck, six rostrum visits and four other top six finishes underline his competitiveness. Currently third in the driver standings, Andrew aims to move within striking distance of second place at Rockingham.

Although still hungry for his first win of the year with just four races remaining, the Dromore-based star also realises the importance of qualifying as strongly as possible in a bid to finish ahead of chief rival Alex MacDowall in the battle for the championship runner-up spot.

Not only that, Andrew's third position in the championship isn't yet secure and at Rockingham his closest pursuer, Dave Newsham, will have the added benefit of a new team-mate to assist him in his battle -- former ELF Renault Clio Cup Champion Danny Buxton.

"My main focus at Rockingham is to close in on Alex (MacDowall) as I want to finish the year as runner-up", said Andrew, "We really need two good results to secure third in the standings and chase second, especially after things not going so well for us at Silverstone. Qualifying is where we need to get things sorted, we went the wrong way last time but we won't make that mistake again.

"Obviously Danny Buxton is coming back to Clios this weekend to help (Dave) Newsham but I'm confident we can score well enough to stay ahead of them. If I score good points then third place in the championship will look after itself for me, we need to be ahead of Alex and be on the podium to take the fight for second position to the final event at Brands Hatch next month."

Even though Andrew is firmly established as one of the most talented young saloon car racers in the UK, it should be remembered this is only his third full season of car racing action having graduated from karting in 2007.

Becoming a podium finisher in his maiden season and going on to claim his first car racing victory in the 2007 ELF Renault Clio Winter Cup, where he also finished on the podium in every race, the Brian Herron Contracts-backed driver stepped-up to the now defunct SEAT Cupra Championship in 2008 where he achieved four second places and one other podium en route to fifth in the standings.

Returning to Clios this year following the decision by SEAT Sport UK to withdraw its one-make category from British motorsport, Andrew was instantly on the pace -- even though he didn't have the benefit of an extensive pre-season testing programme. He also impressed on his sportscar debut in August at the wheel of the 'VIP' car during the Porsche Carrera Cup GB Championship's visit to Knockhill in Scotland.

This weekend's Clio Cup action will commence with pre-event testing on Friday, 18th September, while qualifying for rounds 17 and 18 is set to follow on Saturday, 19th September, at around 14.45. Both races will be contested on Sunday, 20th September, at 10.00 and 15.15 respectively with the second scheduled to be screened live across the UK on Freeview, cable and digital satellite channel ITV4.

-credit: andrewherronracing.com

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Series General
Drivers Alex MacDowall , Dave Newsham