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The format for testing was back to normal, with 2 sessions planned for Friday. The first session started on a damp track on wet tyres, but it was soon apparent that the track was just too dry for wets.
Jack pitted for slicks and in the last 10 minutes of the session the track developed a dry line. He ended up p3 on very old tyres when a lot of others were using new ones.
The second session was back to monsoon like conditions with the car aqua planing on the straights. It was decided to call it a day after just 4 laps as Jack didn’t want to risk damaging the car for the races and it was clear he already had the pace.
Saturday morning arrived bringing another grey and overcast sky with frequent showers, just to make things tricky. By the time the qualifying session began the track had got to the same point as the day before in free practice 1, so Jack opted for slick tyres and headed out onto the track.
It was obvious that the best lap times were going to come right at the end of the session when everyone’s confidence had grown and they had worked out where the wet patches were on the track.
There were a fair few red flags in the session as people pushed too hard and ended up in the wall with damage and with 5 minutes to go there was another stoppage, this time for Nicolas Hamilton.
This left a mad dash for the last few laps to see who could get the most out of the track. Everyone was improving lap on lap and Jack’s best time was good enough for p2 on the grid and his second time was good enough for p4 for Sunday’s race.
Jack made a decent start from the outside of the front row but was unable to get ahead of Stefan Hodgetts and had to slot in behind Paul Rivett in p3.A safety car was brought out pretty much straight away, after a start line incident involving a few cars.
Once this was cleared away he continued to chase down the front two. Then Rivett, the three time Clio Cup Champion, made an uncharacteristic mistake at the chicane clipping the tyre stack and damaging his steering. This opened up the door for Jack to chase down Hodgetts.
He set the fastest lap whilst closing him down, but knowing that Rivett had damage and was a long way back Jack decided to settle for 2nd place and extend his championship lead.
This time the sun had shown its face and we were pleasantly surprised with some warm weather. Jack had over 160 guests at the track cheering him on so he was hoping for a good result not only for himself, but for everyone else too.
He would be starting Sundays race from p4. Again Jack made a decent start, but couldn’t quite slot into the inside so had to settle for p4. It wasn’t the most exciting of races with the top 4 breaking away. The problem was they were all too evenly matched and no one made any mistakes so overtaking was almost impossible. This didn’t bother Jack though as he ended the race in p4 and with a 49 point lead in the Championship!!
So far this season has gone all to plan. There is a long way to go yet as we are only half way through the year but things are looking promising up to this point.
As we now head into a 9 week break from the Clios Jack will be keeping his track time up by racing in two Lotus Cup UK rounds, one at Castle Combe on the 16th of June and the other at Oulton Park on the 28th July, along with a round in the Lotus Cup Europe Series at Spa in Belgium the weekend of the 6th and 7th July.
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