Race-winning Renault UK Clio Cup team Finesse Motorsport is determined to produce the strongest possible performance when the championship resumes after its long summer break this coming weekend, 30th/31st July, at the team’s home track – Snetterton 300 Circuit in East Anglia.
Round one victor Paul Streather and ever-improving first year Clio Cup racer Daniel Rowbottom both have their sights set on podium success for the Wisbech-based team during rounds 11 and 12 of the campaign, the sixth event of the 2016 championship.
For Leicestershire driver Streather, Vice-Champion of the club-level Michelin Clio Cup Series last year, the resumption of his first full season on the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship support package in the blue riband Renault UK Clio Cup provides the opportunity to get his year fully back on track as he aims to climb back up from sixth in the standings.
Encountering a challenging event at Thruxton back in May, Streather’s bid took another knock at Oulton Park in June when illness almost prevented him from taking part in the weekend’s action. Hitting back with sixth and fifth place results last time out at Croft, following great drives through the order, the 27-year-old is now fighting fit and seeking nothing less than a podium return.
“I’m feeling 100% now and had a nice holiday, so we’re raring to go”, he commented, “We’ve got a few things we know we want to work on, especially qualifying as that hasn’t been my strong point. In the races we always do much better, like at Croft before the break when we came through from 14th and ninth to sixth and fifth – that was as much as I could have asked for there.
“I like the 300 Circuit at Snetterton, it’s a bit of a challenge and I am really looking forward to it. I haven’t done a lot of mileage there, I’ve only raced there once before, but I did really well and did enjoy it. The focus is on qualifying next weekend, if we get that right I know we’ll be strong.”
Recent newlywed Rowbottom, who got married just prior to the Croft race meeting in June, secured his best finish of the championship last time out with an excellent top five result and is increasing in confidence, and performance, each time he heads out on track.
Notably, the rapid Kidderminster saloon car racer – who runs under the Team EcoMotive with Finesse banner – had been on the racing sidelines since 2008 before choosing to make a return to action this year in the Clio Cup. So far this season he has posted two finishes in the top six, and two more in the top seven, and ahead of Snetterton is inside the coveted championship top 10.
Finesse has enjoyed good success at its home track in the past in both Ginetta Junior and the Clio Cup and team principal Neil Giddings is relishing the prospect of being back at Snetterton, with a podium return the target.
“We can’t wait to be back racing after the long break and we’re all targeting some big results”, said Giddings, “You always want to do well at your home track, and we’re confident we can, but we know qualifying is going to be the most important part of the weekend. If we can get on the first two or three rows, we know podiums can be on the cards.”
Following officially timed pre-event testing on Friday, 29th July, qualifying at Snetterton will take place on Saturday, 30th July, ay 11.25. Rounds 11 and 12 will be contested on Sunday, 31st July, at 09.55 and 16.10 respectively, with the second encounter to be screened live on ITV4 and streamed online at www.itv.com/btcc
Provisional 2016 Renault UK Clio Cup Driver Standings (after Rd10):
6th Paul Streather, 174pts; 10th Daniel Rowbottom, 118pts; 18th Jake Giddings, 31pts
Provisional 2016 Renault UK Clio Cup Entrants’ Trophy Standings (after Rd10):
5th Finesse Motorsport, 286pts
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