Ridley-Holloway equals season best
Total Control Racing’s Jonathan Ridley-Holloway served up an excellent performance during the seventh round of the ELF Renault Clio Cup over the weekend, 17th/18th May, the Barnstaple racer equalling his previous best with a competitive ninth place finish.Racing at his nearest venue, Thruxton Circuit in Hampshire, the 23-year-old qualified strongly on Saturday with the 12th fastest time of 1m 24.764 seconds (100.06mph) although this later became 10th on the grid when Mardi Gras Motorsport team-mates Gavin Pyper and Aron Smith were both excluded from the results.Making a good start, Jonathan didn’t lose ground and ran in 10th place as the Safety Car was deployed on lap two following an opening lap incident. At the re-start on lap five, he resisted pressure from Carl Bradley and then problems for Derek Pierce on lap seven saw the TCR star gain a place into ninth.The PicoPC.co.uk, A4 Apparel and Bond Oxborough Phillips backed driver then closed on team-mate Mike Robinson in eighth position and with nothing more than a few 10ths of a second splitting the pair at any stage, they took the chequered flag line astern on lap 15 less than three 10ths of a second apart.“I managed to get alongside Mike a couple of times but with him being my team-mate I didn’t want to commit to anything and potentially risk any kind of incident”, commented Jonathan, “Finishing in ninth is pretty good, I’m fairly happy with that and I think this weekend has shown we definitely have the pace to be regularly in the top 10 now.”Round eight, which took place on Sunday afternoon, saw Jonathan start in 11th place and on the opening lap he climbed up into the top seven with some terrific driving. All looking good for another decent result, the race started to unravel somewhat following a spin on lap three. Trying to recover, the North Devon racer had another spin on lap six and on lap nine he decided to retire to the pits due to the fact he had flat-spotted tyres which were offering very little in the way of grip – not something any driver wants when driving on the ragged edge through some of the most fearsome corners in UK motorsport.“The first lap was mega, I made up a lot of places and got up to about seventh place but then I lost the car going through Goodwood and had a bit of a moment”, he added, “I managed to get the car back but then I had another spin the next time around.“I ended up flat-spotting the tyres and grip was a big problem so I decided to park the car in the pits for safety as it wasn’t worth continuing. It’s a shame we couldn’t finish with another top 10 to add to Saturday’s but I’m still pretty happy with how things have gone overall. Hopefully Croft two weeks from now will be good too.”Rounds nine and 10 of the 2008 ELF Renault Clio Cup season will take place at Croft Circuit in North Yorkshire on 31st May/1st June.