Sale Sharks fight back from shock defeat in Clio scrum

Players from Sale Sharks Rugby Club suffered a shock defeat in a ‘scrum against the clock’ pushing an AirAsia Renault Sport Clio Cup race car over a measured distance on the Oulton Park start-finish straight in Cheshire to launch AirAsia’s bumper Clio Cup flight giveaway.

Welsh international Andy Powell and fellow new Sale Sharks signing Luther Burrell were joined by Steve Diamond, Sale Sharks’ Executive Director of Sport and Pete Anglesea, Head Coach as they pushed AirAsia Clio Cup competitor, Luke Wright’s Scuderia Vittoria Clio across a set ten metre distance at the Oulton Park round of the British Touring Car Championship on Sunday June 5.

Luke’s car carried the destination ‘Bali’ on its visor strip to launch a new promotion where fans can win two return flights to Kuala Lumpur at every round of the AirAsia Renault Clio Cup, thanks to title sponsor, AirAsia.

First off, a team of Renault Clio Cup champions, comprising two-time champ and current AirAsia Renault Clio Cup points joint leader, Paul Rivett, Scuderia Vittoria team manager, Danny Buxton, current BTCC drivers Dave Newsham and Tom Onslow-Cole set down a marker for the Sale Sharks with an impressive time of 4.67secs.

The Sharks team then launched their attack, with a time of 6.77secs over two seconds shy of that set by their more lightweight opposition.

Fortunately, video evidence came to the rescue, as proof of a jump start by the wily race drivers emerged, and on their restart a time of 6.94secs meant that Sale Shark’s honour was retained, albeit with a winning margin of just under two tenths of a second.

After their competitive element for the day, which was aired on ITV4, the Sales Sharks were given a tour of the British Touring Car Championship and Renault Sport paddocks.

“I would like say a big thank you to Renault Sport for what has been a brilliant day at Oulton Park,” said Diamond. “It’s brilliant for us to have the opportunity to ingrate our two new signings into our activities off the Rugby pitch and I look forward to extending our relationship with the UK’s premier racing championships in the future.”

Welsh international and British & Irish Lion Andy Powell was also delighted with his experience of attending the championships Oulton Park round.

“It’s brilliant to get the opportunity to attend Oulton Park today and I have really enjoyed myself,” said Powell. “It’s interesting to see the different mindset that drivers have compared to rugby players as they seem to be so calm before a race. I thoroughly enjoyed launching AirAsia’s new competition and I’m glad that we managed to redeem ourselves against the drivers in the scrum”.

About AirAsia Clio Cup

Each season drivers come from around the United Kingdom and internationally to compete in the thrilling wheel-to-wheel racing that the Renault Clio Cup demands. The Championship continues to be the UK’s premier one-make saloon-car championship. Using race cars based on the road-going Clio Renault Sport 200, the Championship continues to be a breeding ground for future Touring Car drivers. As a prominent support race on the British Touring Car Championship platform and benefiting from live, comprehensive and new for 2011, HD TV coverage on the ITV sport network, it remains the most direct link to the BTCC. Almost one third of the current BTCC grid graduated from the ranks of Renault Clio Cup UK http://www.renaultsport.co.uk/championships/cliocup/Default.aspx
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