Stefan HodgettsLeading team Scuderia Vittoria secured their fifth podium of the season during round 13 of the AirAsia Renault Clio Cup this weekend (6/7 October), as KX Akademy and One Call Insurance backed Stefan Hodgetts romped to a second place finish after starting from eighth position on the grid.

After a close fought qualifying session that saw just under a second separate the top 20 cars in Britain’s premier one-make saloon car championship, a determined Hodgetts set about making amends for his fourth row grid start by getting away well off the line to immediately jump to fifth by the end of the first lap.

Pushing hard, Hodgetts dispossessed his championship counterparts and soon found himself in second position behind 20Ten Racing’s Josh Cook by the end of the third lap.

Hodgetts tirelessly attempted to find a way past the 21 year-old but a determined Cook held on to secure his maiden win in the championship.

One Call Insurance backed Vic Covey recovered from an edgy start to the opening race of the weekend to take the chequered flag in 13th position, with the Scot controlling the points deficit between Ignas Gelzinis well, in the fight for tenth position in the championship standings.

Ronnie Klos produced a fine display to complete round 13 in 15th position, one place behind Handy Motorsport’s Masters Cup victor, Simon Belcher.

Getting off the line well from 19th on the grid, Klos impressively worked his way to 15th and pushed Belcher all the way to the chequered flag, eventually falling short of a class victory by 2.147 seconds, whilst Masters Cup front-runner Crocker struggled home in 20th position.

Round 14 of the one-make championship, renowned for propelling the careers of Aron Smith, Dave Newsham and Mat Jackson, provided a different run of luck for Scuderia Vittoria.

Starting from sixth position, Hodgetts got away well and quickly snatched fifth position off Team Pyro’s Josh Files as the pack of identical clio’s headed into Copse for the first time.

By the third lap of the race, Hodgetts found himself on the back end of a five-car battle for the lead in fifth position. Hodgetts continued to tussle for fourth position with Total Control Racing’s James Dixon before making a successful move stick at Luffield.

This was short lived as the former Clio Cup Vice Champion ran wide at the same part of the track on the following lap, relegating him to ninth in the proceedings. Despite his known talent, Hodgetts completed the final race of the weekend in eighth position due to the highly competitive nature of the series.

“I was really pleased with our race one result,” explained Hodgetts. “To come through the field from eighth position on such a competitive circuit shows how hard that everybody has been working at Scuderia Vittoria.”

“The second race didn’t go quite to plan as I think that we had a few issues with the engine, but that’s racing though. I’m looking to bounce back and make a statement at Brands during the final two rounds of the season.”

Managing the difference to Gelzinis well in the first race, 2008 Scottish Mini Champion Covey was dealt with a huge task of damage limitation starting from 19th position. Despite this feat, Covey worked his way up to complete the race in 15th, but now leaves Silverstone 11 points adrift of Gelzinis in 11th position in the championship standings.

“This weekend was a little disappointing for me,” said Covey. “Our pace was good but I think that I need a little bit more luck on my side at Brands Hatch, followed by a little more aggression at the starts.”

“I’m 11 points behind Gelzinis heading to Brands Hatch in two weeks time, However, I’m ready to challenge him there on the Grand Prix layout for tenth in the championship standings.”

Crocker and Klos settled for second and third in the Masters Cup class at the chequered flag, but the pairing were involved in a racing incident with Total Control Racings Nic Hamilton during the opening stages of the race which halted their push on Belcher in the race.

“This is the closest that we have been to the pace this weekend,” said Klos. “I think that we have done very well to reach the level that we are currently at, going forward I just need to use the knowledge that I have gained to hook it all up together.”

“I’m lookin forward to Brands Hatch and I believe that we can take another step forward in our ambition to push for two top 12 finishes.

Crocker added, “We showed some good pace this weekend, but on the straights I suffered a weight disadvantage over my counterparts.”

“Race two was a bit unfortunate as I bent the steering in the tussle with Ronnie and Nic Hamilton, so from that point it was just about doing the best that I could under the circumstances. Rubbin’s racin’ though and I’m looking forward to being back out on track in two weeks time.”

The final rounds of the AirAsia Renault Clio Cup will commence in two weeks at Kent’s Brands Hatch Circuit.

For more updates on Scuderia Vittoria please like their Facebook page, or alternatively you can follow @ScudVittoria on Twitter.

Photo by Jakob Ebrey Photography.