Incident packed Silverstone cost JRH
Total Control Racing’s Jonathan Ridley-Holloway saw the promise of a season’s best result at Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit go begging yesterday, Sunday, 8th June, after contact in both of the weekend’s races saw a brilliant qualifying effort unfortunately deliver little in the way of reward.Competing as part of the second biggest motor racing event in the country this year, the British round of the World Series by Renault, the Barnstaple-based ELF Renault Clio Cup racer produced a terrific performance in qualifying to claim eighth position on the grid for round 11 with a time of 2m 09.851 seconds (142.5km/h).At the start of the first encounter, Jonathan – who celebrates his 24th birthday a little under three weeks from now – got away cleanly from the fourth row of the grid to follow team-mate Mike Robinson through Copse but on entry to the corner his Clio received a whack from behind, pitching Jonathan into a slide.Recovering well, but having lost places, the category rookie pressed on and into lap two was down in 14th position with a lot of work to do to try and make up the ground he lost through no fault of his own.Involved in a tight battle with Alex Osborne, David Dickenson and Aron Smith, Jonathan looked well placed to mount a challenge for a top 12 placing as the race headed towards mid distance but yet more contact shuffled him back further to an eventual finish of 18th.Disappointed, especially considering the top eight pace he produced in testing and qualifying, the Bond Oxborough Phillips, PicoPC.co.uk and A4 Apparel supported racer headed into round 12 full of optimism for an improved performance. This he at least got with a top 12 finish and much needed points towards his top 15 championship battle.Gaining two places on the opening lap, Jonathan then moved past Chris Rice on the second tour into 15th place before the Safety Car was deployed due to the stricken cars of Stephen Tyldsley and Chris Panayiotou being in need of recovery.At the re-start on lap six, the North Devon racer got away well behind Lee Pattison and tagged on to a train of four other cars all battling over 11th place. Incredibly close to Pattison, but unable to make a decisive move, into lap nine Jonathan’s target became Richard Cannon who had slipped to 14th place.Another Safety Car period came on lap 11 following an accident involving Gavin Pyper and Alex Osborne. The result of their tangle was a collision for Carl Bradley, the removal of him from the equation seeing Jonathan move back into 13th place ahead of the start of the cautionary period.At the re-start, over just one lap, Jonathan gained another place when Niki Lanik crashed out into the gravel. This allowed the TCR man to claim his fifth top 12 result of his debut season in the ELF Renault Clio Cup, from 21 finishers.Speaking on the weekend, the TCR star said: “Race one was really disappointing, we had very good pace and after qualifying I felt confident we could do a good job but I got a whack from behind going through Copse on the first lap and my race fell apart from there really. To get a top 12 in race two wasn’t too bad but it’s not what I wanted.“The pace is definitely coming now, we were in the top eight in testing and qualifying so I know with some better fortune we’ll be able to move up the order towards the championship top 10. We’ve been bashed about a bit this weekend but hopefully at Snetterton in three weeks we’ll be ok.”Following the weekend’s action, which was watched by an incredible combined crowd attendance of 110,000 over the course of the two days, Jonathan is 16th in the driver standings on 77 points, just 18 points shy of the top 12.Returning to its regular slot on the HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship race package for the next event, rounds 13 and 14, the ELF Renault Clio Cup will resume five weeks from now on 12th/13th July at Snetterton in Norfolk.