Maiden SEAT Win Just Eludes Herron

Exciting young saloon car racer Andrew Herron came within three laps of winning his first race in the SEAT Cupra Championship at Silverstone National Circuit yesterday afternoon, Sunday, 31st August, after a fantastic battle with the vastly more experienced reigning champion Jonathan Adam.The 20-year-old Brian Herron Contracts backed star, from Dromore in Co. Down, looked on course to claim his maiden SEAT triumph after an outstanding drive from second on the grid during round 18 but was just unable to keep a charging Adam at bay during the final stages.Nonetheless a superb performance by the ever-improving Northern Irishman, he finished the race just 1.4 seconds shy of Adam. Other than the victor himself, Andrew was the only driver to lap under the 1m 09 second bracket in wet conditions with a best time of 1m 08.904 seconds.Claiming his second runner-up spot of the weekend, backing up an excellent effort during Saturday afternoon’s 17th round of the season, Andrew now has a championship total of 187 points. “I got a very good start, moved alongside Jonathan (Adam) but, unfortunately, I was on the inside which was more slippery in the wet so I couldn’t quite get into Copse in the lead”, explained Andrew, “Jonathan made a mistake into the last corner and I knew it was my chance and I went through.“I pushed as hard as I could, got a gap, but my tyres started to go off towards the end, especially at Becketts where I struggled to get the car stopped. That was the only place he was quicker than me. Jonathan is a brilliant driver, he has much more experience than I have so it’s good for me to race with drivers like him and to learn.”Leading the 18th round of the SEAT Cupra Championship for more than three quarters of the race distance, the JHR Developments racer couldn’t quite fend off Adam’s challenge but he did prove beyond question his time will come, sooner rather than later.Making a superb start on the trickiest side of the grid, Andrew gave Adam a run for his money down to Copse Corner for the first time and although forced to slot into second he went with the 2007 SEAT title winner.Into Luffield at the end of the lap, Adam made a mistake and ran wide onto the grass and gravel, giving Andrew the opportunity to take the lead. Quickly opening up a good margin, the youngster led by a superb three seconds into the sixth tour and he looked comfortable in the trying, wet conditions.On lap 12, the recovering Adam finally made his way back into second place and as the laps counted down Andrew started to struggle for grip as his tyres lost adhesion. Getting more and more difficult to hold the line through Becketts under braking, Andrew did all he could to stay ahead of Adam.On lap 17, Adam did get a good run out of Becketts but Andrew boldly stayed with him and ran side-by-side to Brooklands before holding the lead through the turn. Into lap 18, Adam was glued to the rear of Andrew’s SEAT and although managing to hold on to first place to Brooklands, the category rookie lost out on the exit.Disappointed to finish in second place having come within touching distance of his first ever SEAT Cupra win, Andrew was still happy with the performance and his second runner-up finish of the Silverstone weekend.“It looks good for the last couple of rounds and into next year too if we’re back in SEAT, we’re getting stronger all of the time and I’m getting more and more confidence”, added Andrew, “I’m disappointed the win just got away from us but who knows what we might be able to do at Brands Hatch next month? I’m looking forward to it”.Brands Hatch Indy Circuit in Kent will host the final two races of the 2008 SEAT Cupra Championship, rounds 19 and 20, three weeks from now, 20th/21st September.Provisional 2008 SEAT Cupra Championship Driver Standings (after Rd18):1st Robert Lawson, 290pts; 2nd Jonathan Adam, 269pts; 5th Andrew Herron, 187pts