Andrew Herron made his sixth visit of 2009 to the ELF Renault Clio Cup podium at Snetterton Circuit in Norfolk yesterday, Sunday, 2nd August, after a titanic battle with fellow championship contenders Philip Glew and Alex MacDowall.

Serving up outstanding entertainment, just six 10ths of a second separated the top four drivers at the finish with 21-year-old Andrew sandwiched between series leader Glew in second position and fourth placed MacDowall, the current championship runner-up.

Still striving for his elusive first win of the year, Dromore-based Andrew certainly had the pace to fight for his maiden 2009 success but with the top drivers so evenly matched, and overtaking incredibly difficult for that very reason, third place was still an excellent result.

Running in fourth position on the opening lap, where he started on the grid, Andrew ran closely with the top three until lap four when MacDowall ran off the circuit while dicing with Glew at Russell Chicane and the net result meant Andrew nipped through into third place.

While coming under pressure from MacDowall for the remainder of the race, Andrew also applied increasing pressure of his own to second-placed Glew but had to settle for third position in the end.

Round 13 on Saturday, 1st August, didn’t get off to the best start for Andrew when he was forced slightly wide at Sear Corner in his JHR Developments-run Clio, dropping him to eighth place. After a short Safety Car period he soon set about trying to pass the cars ahead and took seventh from James Colburn at the Bomb Hole on the very first racing lap.

Posting the fastest lap on the sixth tour and bettering the time on lap eight with a lap of 1m19.111 seconds, which ended up being the second quickest of the race, the Northern Irishman piled on the pressure to the cars ahead as light rain started to fall and get persistently heavier.

Making conditions incredibly difficult with everyone on slick tyres, Andrew’s skill shone through and he grabbed sixth place from Carl Bradley at the end of lap 13. The race was halted on lap 14 due to the worsening conditions and with the result taken from the end of lap 13, Andrew was sixth.

“Sixth wasn’t a bad result in the first race after getting forced wide early on at Sear but the second race definitely showed our true speed”, commented Andrew, “I got a good start to Sunday’s round and I had the pace to win really but it’s so hard to pass without making contact at Snetterton.

“It was a really good, close but clean race at the front which was nice to be involved in. The three drivers around me were all doing a good job. It’s great to be on the podium again and the aim for the rest of the year is to be on the podium at every event. I still want that first win of the year too!”

There is now a four week break in the ELF Renault Clio Cup calendar with rounds 15 and 16 seeing the category make its second visit of the year to Silverstone in Northamptonshire, albeit this time on the shorter National Circuit configuration over the weekend 29th/30th August.

In the meantime, Andrew is set to embark on his competitive sportscar racing debut in the prestigious Porsche Carrera Cup GB Championship two weeks from now, 15th/16th August, at Knockhill in Scotland. Driving the ‘VIP’ car, he is scheduled to take part in the 13th and 14th rounds of the series as part of his prize for getting through to the final stages of the category’s 2009 scholarship earlier this year.

Provisional 2009 ELF Renault Clio Cup Driver Standings (after Rd14):
1st Philip Glew, 402pts; 2nd Alex MacDowall, 326pts; 3rd Andrew Herron, 282pts