SEAT Cupra Championship

SUPER SECOND FOR RAPID HERRON AT SILVERSTONENorthern Ireland’s Andrew Herron raced brilliantly to his fourth podium finish of the 2008 season at Silverstone National Circuit yesterday afternoon, Saturday, 30th August – the SEAT Cupra Championship rookie claiming a richly deserved second place during round 17.Returning to his usual front-running pace after a difficult weekend in Scotland two weeks ago which was caused by a problematic turbo on his SEAT Leon Cupra, the 20-year-old was delighted to claim his third runner-up spot of the year and prove beyond any shadow of a doubt his mysterious lack of pace at Knockhill wasn’t driver related.Speaking after yesterday’s race, Dromore based Andrew said: “It’s fantastic to be back on the podium, I’m really delighted. It’s great to prove to people that Knockhill wasn’t me and that is was a problem with the car. It’s good to be back up there at the front, we need to make a big impression like this to help secure sponsors for next year.”Andrew started his Silverstone weekend very well indeed with the third fastest time overall during pre-event testing on Friday – a lap of 1m 02.559 seconds (94.31mph), just two 10ths of a second shy of Jonathan Adam’s best.Continuing his promising pace during qualifying yesterday, the Brian Herron Contracts backed star lapped the 1.64-mile circuit with a time of 1m 01.945 seconds (95.25mph) to claim fourth on the grid for round 17, a mere two 10ths of a second away from pole.At the start of this afternoon’s 20-lap race Andrew got away well as his JHR Developments team-mate Robert Lawson and pole-sitter Jonathan Adam duelled over the lead from the front-row. Moving into third position past fellow second row starter David Nye, Andrew ended lap one in third and then fended off a challenge from Carl Breeze on the run to Copse Corner for the second time. Andrew then moved into second position before the end of lap two as reigning champion Adam pitted with a puncture.From that point on, Andrew was never troubled as he followed Lawson home to make it a JHR one-two finish. Taking the chequered flag just two seconds behind his team-mate, the Co. Down racer also set the third fastest lap with a time of 1m 02.872 seconds. In addition, he finished a full 6.5 seconds clear of Breeze in fourth place.Andrew commented: “I got a pretty good start, about as good as my team-mate Robert (Lawson) who was on the front row, but as Jonathan (Adam) started trying to defend the lead from Robert I gained some ground on them both. “Going into the first corner, I wanted to try and get through into second place but there wasn’t room. Breeze was giving me a really hard time so I had to drive cleverly to make sure I kept third place. “Then as we came through the complex, Jonathan was really slow and he was starting to hold me up – I was so glad to see him pull into the pits! At about half distance I started to relax a bit too much so I pushed a bit more and then Robert and I just ran at the same pace to the finish. It’s a great result for everyone at the team.”

Looking ahead to Sunday lunchtime’s 18th round of the SEAT Cupra Championship season, Andrew will start the second Silverstone encounter from an improved third place on the grid having set a time of 1m 02.351 seconds (94.63mph) during the second of yesterday’s two qualifying sessions. Round 18 will take place today, Sunday, 31st August, at approximately 12.00.Provisional 2008 SEAT Cupra Championship Driver Standings (after Rd17):1st Robert Lawson, 283pts; 2nd Jonathan Adam, 248pts; 5th Andrew Herron, 170pts