Ronnie KlosLeading team Scuderia Vittoria took away the positives from AirAsia Renault Clio Cup qualifying at Northamptonshire’s Rockingham Motor Speedway this afternoon (Saturday, 22nd September), after an eventful start to the weekend for the series front-runners.

The London based outfit, who have done nothing but impress in Britain’s premier one-make saloon car championship since their debut in 2011, were dealt a small setback as front-runner Stefan Hodgetts qualified in 11th position ahead of Sunday’s (23rd September) racing action.

Despite a strong showing in Friday testing, KX Akademy and One Call Insurance backed Hodgetts, posted a fastest lap time of 1 minute 30.474 ahead of rounds 11 & 12 at the renowned 1.94 mile circuit.

“I had a bit of a difficult session,” explained Hodgetts. “We didn’t quite have the speed in the car that we had in testing yesterday, so we’ll line up 11th, half a second off pole.

“It’s extremely tight obviously with 11 cars covered by just half a second. We should have been quicker, but we’ll have a look at the data, the car, and try to figure out where the time is.”

“A lot of people would have their head down, but I’ll keep my chin up, I’m a battler. We can definitely get on the podium from 11th, that shouldn’t be much of a problem, especially if we have a bit of rain. I’m always good in a race situation.”

“We’ve got to make a good start and see what we can do. We’re certainly not giving up, it just makes me want to try even harder to get the result for the team.”

One Call Insurance backed Ronnie Klos produced a superb performance on his first visit to Rockingham, the Clio Cup newcomer set a fastest lap time of 1 minute 30.892 seconds only to be handed a four place grid penalty due to an incident involving Total Control Racing’s Nic Hamilton last time out at Snetterton 300. The ever-popular Scot will now line up in 18th and 20th position for tomorrow’s race action.

“The session today was good because I visited Rockingham five weeks ago on a track day with Danny Buxton,” said Klos. “I’ve never raced here before, so the tuition that Danny gave me, enabled me to come here in a good position ahead of the weekend.”

“I’m understanding the car and the tyres better now, I’ve got the confidence, and to be eight tenths off pole position today, is unbelievable.”

2008 Scottish Mini Challenge Champion Vic Covey, benefits from Klos’ demotion for Round 11 tomorrow, lining up 14th as he looks to strengthen his 10th position in the championship standings, whilst Masters Cup challenger Finlay Crocker will start the race in 19th.

“My car was pushing but still I’ve never raced here before,” said Covey. “Unfortunately I didn’t get enough running in the dry yesterday, especially on a new set of tyres, so it was a steep learning curve.”

“I’m 14th but I wanted to be in the top 10, tomorrow is another day however, I want to stay out of trouble for race one, push on as much as I can, and nail it in race two.”

Crocker added, “Testing yesterday was quite difficult for us, so today it was all about going out, and getting a feel for it.”

“The first set of tyres on the car felt good and put me in 13th position. I came in to put on my second set and we seemed to lose a bit of balance in the car, there was a lot more understeer which was unfortunate.”

“I know that there’s still more to come tomorrow and I’m looking forward to round 11 where I hope to work my way through the order.”

Rounds 11 & 12 of the AirAsia Renault Clio Cup will get underway tomorrow (Sunday, 23rd September), at 10:40 and 15:50 respectively.

Live coverage of the ultra-competitive one-make series can be seen on ITV4 and ITV4 HD. For more updates throughout the race weekend, please like Scuderia Vittoria’s Facebook page or follow @ScudVittoria on Twitter.

Photo by Jakob Ebrey Photography.