Scuderia Vittoria’s James Weston had a positive initiation in the brand new Michelin Renault Clio Cup Series with Protyre on the Snetterton 200 circuit (11-12 May), claiming a brace of Class 4 victories.
The Tunbridge Wells-based racer, in his maiden season of car racing, used the entire weekend in Norfolk as a test session, to bed in to his Clio Cup contender and learn the circuit.
A tentative start during Friday’s two 30-minute free practice sessions was followed by vast improvements in pace as the 25-year old gained more confidence behind the wheel.
In Saturday’s first encounter, Weston made a sluggish start and was swallowed up by the chasing pack. However, he soon gathered momentum and began an admirable fight-back to finish eighth and take victory in Class 4, for newcomers in the Racecar division.
Weston got a perfect launch from ninth on the grid in Sunday’s final Clio race, before spinning his Scuderia Vittoria-prepared machine at the Bombhole.
From the tail of the field, the Kent driver knuckled down and narrowed the gap to those ahead of him, taking advantage of other drivers’ misfortune before locking horns with Ian Jordan.
A fraught door handle-to door-handle battle, encompassing numerous clean overtaking manoeuvres, ensued and demonstrated Weston’s natural ability.
The 25-year old stayed focused and saw off Jordan’s challenge to cross the finish line in a highly respectable seventh place and claim another Class 4 win.
Looking back on an encouraging debut in the British Automobile Racing Club (BARC) and Renault UK-led Clio Cup series, an enthusiastic Weston, said: “I’d say this has been the best weekend of my life. This is an absolutely massive learning curve, but with the help of the Scuderia Vittoria team I think I rose to the challenge well.
“My target was to get somewhere close to the front-running pace and we achieved that, so the weekend was a huge success as far as I’m concerned. I can’t wait to get back in the car at Croft, although I hope to test before then.”
Scuderia Vittoria Director Danny Buxton, added: “Considering this was James’s first ever car race meeting, he did really well. He showed a lot of maturity throughout and took everything we told him on-board to achieve two top-ten finishes.
“A lot of his competitors have raced in the Renault UK Clio Cup and his lap times weren’t far off the frontrunners’ best times. He’s treating this as a learning year, but we’re hugely encouraged by what we’ve already seen.”
The Michelin Renault Clio Cup Series resumes in eight weeks’ time at North Yorkshire’s Croft Circuit on 6-7 July.
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