The three-time champion looked strong throughout the 30-minute session carrying his Brands Hatch race victory momentum going two-tenths quicker than Team Pyro’s second placed Josh Files (Norwich) and third placed Adam Bonham (Kibworth), before improving again to go another tenth quicker securing top spots for each of the races.
‘I’m very pleased with qualifying. The PER HIRE/Stancombe Vehicle Engineering car was absolutely brilliant once again,’ said the Surrey racer. ‘I’m really pleased, good testing, good qualifying and hopefully we can convert that into good some good results from the two races tomorrow.’
After a brief red flag period early on after Scuderia Vittoria’s Ronnie Klos (Market Harborough) spun into the gravel, it was a pretty straight forward qualifying session.
Kim Andersson (Sweden) had a late surge in the session jumping several places topping the table as the leading ‘Rookie’ in fourth place overall, ahead of teammate Jack Goff (High Wycombe) in fifth.
The former ice-racing star was delighted with the result. ‘It was great! I have Jack in front of me and I have learnt a lot of where to turn in and am feeling comfortable with the track today. It feels really great to be highest placed rookie. It’s hard to learn the track in just one week but hopefully we can get a top three tomorrow.’
It was not the best of days for ex-rally driver Adam Gould (Bristol) in his Stancombe Vehicle Engineering car, as an electrical problem hampered his running time, completing only a handful of laps leaving him to take up the last spot on the grid and a lot of work to do in tomorrow’s race.
‘There is an electrical problem of some sort. The session was disastrous,’ said the 25-year old. ‘I had a problem from the first lap, the car had no power and I was unable to get a timed lap in. I was worried that there may be an engine problem, so I came in.’
Gould continued, ‘For tomorrow I’m going to try and overtake as much as possible, I have a lot of work to do.’
Finally, it was Scuderia Vittoria’s Finlay Crocker (West Lothian) and Handy Motorsport with Pyro’s Simon Belcher (Swindon) who share the spoils for the ELF Masters pole positions.
Reigning Winter Series champion Aaron Williamson (Holbeach) finished in a strong sixth place, ahead of Scuderia Vittoria’s Luke Wright (Shaftesbury) and Westbourne Motorsport’s James Colburn (Worthing). Mike Bushell (Tunbridge Wells) is sure to be disheartened after finishing ninth having being in the top three before the red flag. Westbourne Motorsport’s Ant Whorton-Eales (Lichfield) rounded out the top ten.
The AirAsia Renault UK Clio Cup will be in action twice during the Donington Park weekend. The first race commences tomorrow morning at 09.20, with the second race at 15.00, 15th April.
Clio Cup action will feature in the live ITV broadcast of the opening rounds of the new BTCC season, which will air on ITV4 and ITV4 HD from Sunday morning throughout the day and will also be available on www.itv.com.
In addition, the Sunday race will be available to view online through the Renault Sport website following the weekend’s action.
Qualifying – Round 3 – Classification
- Paul RIVETT PER HIRE/Stancombe Vehicle Engineering 1:17.486
- Josh FILES Team Pyro 1:17.796
- Adam BONHAM Team Pyro 1:17.875
- Kim ANDERSSON Team Pyro 1:17.912
- Jack GOFF Team Pyro 1:17.945
- Aaron WILLIAMSON Finesse Motorsport Ltd 1:18.053
- Luke WRIGHT Scuderia Vittoria 1:18.126
- James COLBURN Westbourne Motorsport 1:18.141
- Mike BUSHELL Mike Bushell 1:18.218
- Ant WHORTON-EALES Westbourne Motorsport 1:18.250
- James DIXON Scuderia Vittoria 1:18.257
- William DAVISON Westbourne Motorsport 1:18.273
- Vic COVEY Scuderia Vittoria 1:18.314
- Nic HAMILTON Total Control Racing 1:18.375
- Ignas GELZINIS Juta Racing 1:18.611
- Josh COOK 20Ten Racing 1:18.653
- Jake GIDDINGS Finesse Motorsport Ltd 1:18.667
- Finlay CROCKER Scuderia Vittoria 1:18.754
- Rob SMITH Total Control Racing 1:18.778
- Simon BELCHER Handy Motorsport with Pyro 1:18.788
- Darren WILSON 20Ten Racing 1:19.005
- Tautvydas BARSTYS Juta Racing 1:21.562
- Ronnie KLOS Scuderia Vittoria 1:21.702
- Adam GOULD Stancombe Vehicle Engineering 1:22.455
A full set of timing results and championship standings can be found here: www.tsl-timing.com
For further information please visit: http://www.renaultsport.co.uk/championships/cliocup/Default.aspx
Press images of the Renault Clio Cup UK can be downloaded from: www.jakobebrey.com/renault