Unlucky Weekend For JRH
ELF Renault Clio Cup rookie Jonathan Ridley-Holloway was left ruing his bad luck at Silverstone National Circuit yesterday afternoon, Sunday, 31st August, after being caught up in a highly unfortunate, multi-car tangle during round 18 of the season.With hopes high heading into the weekend, especially after a promising testing effort on Friday, 29th August, where he achieved the 11th fastest time to outpace the likes of series front-runner Philip Glew and former British Touring Car Championship racer Matt Allison, the Barnstaple driver produced a good run in qualifying to confirm his top 10 potential.Securing a row six start for rounds 17 and 18, Jonathan looked well on course to attain a brace of good points finishes but two luckless outings restricted the 24-year-old’s expected progress.At the start of Saturday’s 17th round, Jonathan got away fairly well in his Total Control Racing prepared Clio Cup racer and stayed ahead of former BTCC star Allison on the run to Copse Corner for the first time.Into Brooklands, Jonathan slipped to 12th place but he fought back immediately into Luffield to regain his position. Allison then re-passed Jonathan on lap two but lap eight was one of the turning points of the race when the TCR man had a moment which cost him several places.Running in 15th position on lap nine, Jonathan gained a place with the demise of Allison as the race order began to settle down. That is until the 18th, and final, lap when the Bond Oxborough Phillips, A4 Apparel and PicoPC.co.uk backed driver was pipped into 16th position on the run to the chequered flag.Disappointed with the result, especially as his lap times were good enough for a top 10 placing, worse luck was to follow on Sunday during round 18 when Jonathan was forced into retirement on lap three after being caught up in a collision involving four cars.With track conditions tricky due to persistent rain, incidents were always likely and Jonathan was unfortunately in the wrong place at the wrong time on lap three when minor contact with Chaz Small triggered a bigger moment involving Jeff Smith and Robert Gaffney.The latter speared off the circuit after being tagged by Smith and he took Jonathan’s car with him, nose-first into the barriers at the entry to the pitlane. Regardless of the incidents, Jonathan at least maintains 15th position in the championship.Commenting on the collision, he said: “Going through Luffield it was all quite tight, I was turned around by (Chaz) Small, that caused me to clip Jeff Smith, he then hit (Robert) Gaffney and he speared me off into the barrier. It was a big old smash which caused a fair bit of damage to the car, not what we need at this stage of the season.“I was really looking forward to Silverstone, we knew we would be competitive and after qualifying just outside the top 10 everything looked well placed for a couple of good races. It’s a shame it didn’t turn out that way but it’s been the way of the season really, we’ll hopefully have something to cheer at Brands Hatch during the season finale.”Just three weeks remain until the final event of the 2008 ELF Renault Clio Cup, rounds 19 and 20 at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit in Kent over the weekend 20th/21st September. Ending the year at the venue which began his maiden full season of Clio Cup racing, Jonathan will be bidding to conclude his campaign on a high.The weekend will actually prove to be by far his busiest of the year as he will also be taking part in the Silverstone 24 Hour Race at the wheel of a Honda Civic Type R. In between qualifying and the Clio Cup races, Jonathan will travel back and forth to Silverstone where he will drive two stints in the annual endurance spectacular.