Team Pyro team-mates Max Marzorati (Harrow) and Lorcan Hanafin (Guiseley) took the wins in Sunday’s two Renault UK Clio Cup Junior rounds on the Brands Hatch Indy circuit. But, thanks to two strong second places, it is JamSport Racing’s Gus Burton (Colchester) who now leads the standings as the championship heads to Pembrey in Carmarthenshire for its next two rounds in three weeks (Sat 14/Sun 15 October).
Each race at Brands Hatch again underlined the immediate competitive nature of Clio Cup Junior – the new racing category launched by Renault UK for 14 to 17-year-old drivers in cars almost identical to those used in its senior Clio Cup.
Hanafin started both races at the Kent circuit from pole position but was only able to convert the second into a victory…
At the start of the first it was Marzorati, from the outside of the front row, who grabbed the lead while Hanafin was shuffled back to fourth behind Burton and WDE’s Connor Grady (Smallfield) who made a fast getaway from sixth on the grid.
Burton would keep Marzorati honest throughout but was unable to mount any major bid for the lead, the pair proving evenly matched over the race’s 21 laps.
Marzorati thus held on to take his second win in only his second car racing event ahead of Burton and Hanafin in third, the latter just two tenths of a second behind the JamSport driver at the flag having clawed back lost ground with the race’s fastest lap for two bonus points…
Right behind the top three at the end in fourth was MRM Racing’s Jack Young (Belfast) as JamSport’s Ethan Hammerton (Northallerton) and Grady completed the top six. Seventh and eighth having run nose to tail for much of the race were JamSport’s Louis Doyle (Chorley) and Pyro’s Harry Gooding (Bridgwater).
Hanafin meanwhile was to run away with victory in race two in which he also achieved a maximum score as he again collected the bonus points for setting the fastest lap.
Taking full advantage this time of pole, he held the lead throughout and, come the chequered flag, had built up a race winning margin of more than four seconds with a highly impressive drive.
Burton again took second position but only after shrugging off the advances of Hammerton who took third after spending much of the race fending off Young in fourth. Just two tenths of a second separated them at the line…
Gooding came through from seventh on the grid to finish a lonely fifth ahead of Doyle and Marzorati. Grady was a distant eighth after being delayed on the opening lap…
All added up, Burton moves to the top of the table on 100 points with Marzorati in second on 95 and Young third on 92. A maximum of 68 will be up for grabs in Pembrey’s two races.
After that come the final two rounds – back at Brands Hatch in mid-November – when the first Renault UK Clio Cup Junior Champion will be crowned. The Champion’s prize will be a free registration into the senior UK Clio Cup which races live on ITV4 alongside the British Touring Car Championship.
Championship standings: 1 Gus Burton, 100 points; 2 Max Marzoati, 95; 3 Jack Young, 92; 4 Connor Grady, 82; 5 Louis Doyle, 80; 6 Ethan Hammerton, 79; 7 Lorcan Hanafin, 77; 7 Harry Gooding, 34 etc.