Leading Renault UK Clio Cup team Finesse Motorsport heads into the opening race meeting of the 2016 season brimming with confidence after a superb showing at Rockingham in Northamptonshire on Wednesday, during official pre-season testing.
On track for the annual ‘Media Day’, the pre-cursor to the championship curtain-raiser at Brands Hatch next weekend, April 2/3, Wisbech-based Finesse certainly made heads turn with a timesheet-topping performance from Wisbech’s Jake Giddings in the morning and consistently strong pace from Paul Streather.
British GT Championship racer Giddings, making a one-off return to Renault Clios for his father Neil’s team for the test, was on the pace from the outset and after ending the first session a mere 0.044 seconds shy of the top of the times he punched in the fastest lap of the morning in session two.
Circulating in 1m29.855 seconds (77.72mph), Giddings’ time wasn’t bettered until the afternoon when a number of rivals opted to use new tyres.
“It was good fun being back in a Clio and having a bit of a play”, said Giddings, “The car was faultless all day.”
Championship rookie Streather, from Hinckley in Leicestershire, concentrated purely on race pace throughout the day’s six track sessions.
He said: “Jake and I were both generally around the top until others started throwing new tyres at it, so we’re pleased with how everything went. I want to get the first race weekend out of the way and under my belt to see where we are, but the team is doing a brilliant job and I’m very thankful for everything they’ve done.”
In the first two rounds of the Renault UK Clio Cup season at Brands Hatch, following pre-event testing on Friday, qualifying will take place on Saturday at 12.05 with the opening race of the season beginning at 4.25pm.
On Sunday, round two will start at 1.25pm and will be screened live on ITV4 and streamed online at www.itv.com/btcc