Aftersales racers aim to rock..

at the Rock’

Second round of the ELF Renault Clio Cup hits Northamptonshire this weekend

Renault Aftersales Racing drivers Gavin Pyper and Árón Smith will return to competitive action this weekend for the second round of the ELF Renault Clio Cup at Rockingham Motor Speedway in Northamptonshire.Both men showed strongly at the opening round of the competitive one-make series at Brands Hatch at the end of March and are hoping for more of the same when battle commences at the purpose-built Rockingham oval.Pyper, whose car will carry prominent Ixell, Ixtar, Rapide Bodycare, RAMB, Renaultp@rts, Motrio and Supagard and Renault Trade Partner branding, said: “I’ve raced at Rockingham once before when I was in the British Touring Car Championship and I’m feeling upbeat about this weekend.“We’ve had the first round of the series and I’m really keen to kick on with things and get some really strong results on the board. I had a good test at Thruxton earlier this week and if I can steer clear of any potential trouble in the middle of the pack, I’m hoping we’ll have something to celebrate on Sunday night.”Smith, meanwhile, scored a fourth-place finish at last year’s corresponding Rockingham fixture in his Renault Insurance and G-3-backed car and is in confident mood for this weekend.The young Irishman said: “Last year’s meeting went really well for me – on what was my first visit to Rockingham – so I’m optimistic for what we can achieve this time around. The set-up of the car that we had at Brands Hatch should work well at Rockingham and with two 45-minute practice sessions on Friday before we start qualifying, there’s plenty of time to dial out any problems that may crop up.Between the races

Gavin PyperThe Scotsman’s Clio was extensively damaged in a race two accident at Brands Hatch and the body shell was classified as a ‘right off’ after being inspected by the engineers at Mardi Gras Motorsport – the team that is responsible for fielding the Renault Aftersales Racing cars. Pyper’s car has since been re-shelled for Rockingham and was put through its paces during a Thruxton shakedown test on Monday.Árón SmithBeing only 18, the young Dubliner is in the middle of revising for his school exams and is currently in the process of taking seven subjects for his Leaving Certificate (the Irish equivalent of ‘A’ Levels). He attends St Mary’s college in Rath Mines and views his ELF Renault Clio Cup campaign as a welcome distraction from his revision and upcoming exams. He said: “Because I’m working so hard on my schooling, I feel completely refreshed when I arrive at the race meetings and it’s a relaxing and enjoyable break from my studies.” Track facts

Rockingham Motor Speedway – located on Mitchell Road in Corby – is Britain’s newest motor racing venue and opened its doors on 15 January 2001. The lap record for the 55,000-seater, 1.5-mile oval is held by American racer, Tony Kanaan, who drove a Ford/Lola Champ Car around the track in 24 seconds and at an average speed of 215mph! The infield of the oval venue is made up of various track configurations and these are the roads that the Renault Aftersales Racing duo will do battle on this weekend.Website: rockingham.co.ukTicket hotline: 0871 2310846Ticket prices: Adults £27 (Sunday), children free (Sunday)Gates open: 09.00ELF Renault Clio Cup races: 10.35 and 15.55 (Sunday)