DOUBLE THRUXTON PODIUM SOLIDIFIES HERRON'S TITLE PUSH ELF Renault Clio Cup title contender Andrew Herron solidified his championship push at Thruxton Circuit in Hampshire this afternoon, Sunday, 26th April, after securing his second podium...
DOUBLE THRUXTON PODIUM SOLIDIFIES HERRON'S TITLE PUSH
ELF Renault Clio Cup title contender Andrew Herron solidified his championship push at Thruxton Circuit in Hampshire this afternoon, Sunday, 26th April, after securing his second podium finish of the weekend with a determined drive from the third row of the grid.
Having secured his second podium of the 2009 season on Saturday during the third round of the year, the JHR Developments racer added rostrum number three to his tally with an excellent performance in today's fourth round -- just missing out on the runner-up spot by a mere seven 10ths of a second.
Lining up fifth on the grid, the 20-year-old Dromore-based driver moved ahead of Sam Tordoff midway through the opening lap before producing an excellent opportunist pass at Goodwood Corner on lap three to get by Dave Newsham who, a split-second earlier, had also been passed by Aron Smith.
Having already posted the race's fastest lap at that point, Andrew started to push second placed Smith hard but rather than squabble over the place and cost each other time, the duo worked together to close the gap to race, and championship, leader Philip Glew.
Visibly fast and looking quicker than Smith ahead, the pair caught up with Glew by the start of lap eight as the fight for the win became a three-way affair. With time running out, Andrew remained tight to the rear bumper of Smith's Clio but there was no way by.
It all looked set to come down to a Grandstand finish on the 12th and final tour but an excursion by Jeff Smith at the Club Chicane on lap 11 meant yellow flags were shown at the last corner and overtaking at the final turn was prohibited.
Crossing the line nose-to-tail with the two cars ahead, Andrew took third place a mere three 10ths of a second shy of Smith and just seven 10ths of a second adrift of the win. Adding another 25 points to his championship total, the Northern Irishman maintains fourth in the driver standings, just eight points outside the top three and 11 points shy of the runner-up spot.
"We went the wrong way with the set-up in qualifying. That made the job this weekend extremely hard but we put on a good show to come through from fifth on the grid in both races to take two podiums", commented Andrew, "I honestly believe, had we started on the front row this weekend I would have won at least one of the races but as it is, two podiums isn't bad.
"I'm really looking forward to the next rounds at Donington now. I'm disappointed we didn't win here at Thruxton as I thought we had a great chance but we should be fast at Donington. We're only four rounds into the championship, everything is still well alive and I'm confident we can give (Philip) Glew a lot to think about if we start knocking in a few wins."
Rounds five and six of the 2009 ELF Renault Clio Cup are scheduled to take place three weeks from now at Donington Park National Circuit in Leicestershire over the weekend 16th/17th May. Before then, Andrew and his JHR Developments team will be in testing action at Croft Circuit in North Yorkshire on Thursday, 7th May.
In the meantime, action from the opening event of the season -- which took place at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit in Kent on 4th/5th April -- will be screened on the UK's leading commercial station, ITV1, this coming Thursday night, 30th April, at 00.20 as part of the Motorsport UK magazine programme.