Strong Snetterton Sees Pidgley Climb Into Clio Cup Top Six

McLaren Young Driver Advancement Programme member Ollie Pidgley climbed into the top six of the Michelin Clio Cup Race Series standings at Snetterton 300 Circuit in Norfolk over the weekend, 30th/31st August, after a brace of highly competitive performances in two outstanding contests.Posting a best finish of sixth position overall, second in the Sport Class, during round 10 on Sunday afternoon, the 17-year-old from Downton built on a seventh place result from the live televised encounter on Saturday to close to within 20 points of the championship top five. He has also pulled 13 points clear of his main pursuers.Qualifying 12th on the grid for round nine on Saturday, second of the Sport Class racers, Pidgley thankfully avoided a two-car tangle just ahead on the formation lap and ultimately started the opening encounter from an effective 10th on the grid as a result.Moving up into ninth place on the opening lap, the Team Pyro youngster gradually reeled in the more experienced Sam Randon and during the second half of the race there was little to separate the pair. Pushing hard to try and prise open an overtaking opportunity, Pidgley made his move on the penultimate lap to grab eighth place – second in the Sport Class.Round 10 on Sunday was an even better race for Pidgley who, from 13th on the grid at the start, brilliantly carved his way through into eighth position on the opening lap – avoiding a three-car tangle at the exit of Riches on the opening lap.After a brief Safety Car period on lap three, the action resumed with the first year racer eager to find a way past Ben Davis into the Sport Class lead. Through the infield, Pidgley managed just that to climb into seventh overall but he had to keep an eye on his mirrors with Davis staying in touch and refusing to be dropped.Running nose-to-tail for the next few laps, the pair moved into sixth and seventh respectively when Paul Streather was forced to pit with damage. On lap eight, though, Davis managed to squeeze past for sixth which then became fifth after a puncture for Ant Whorton-Eales. Pidgley, therefore, held sixth place and pressured Davis heavily to the finish – only 0.3 seconds separating them at the flag.“On Friday in testing we were OK on old tyres, I didn’t get the most out of the new tyres, but then qualifying didn’t go to plan unfortunately with P12”, reflected Pidgley, “In race one, I made up quite a few places and I think I drove as hard as the car could go to be honest. We’d made a couple of changes to the car before the first race and they transformed the feel of it really.“We had the same set-up for race two and I was really happy with it, I couldn’t ask for much more than what we were doing. I haven’t tested at Snetterton that much, so to end the weekend with a top six wasn’t bad. Looking ahead, I haven’t been to Croft at all yet so that’s going to be something completely different.”Croft Circuit in North Yorkshire will host the final two races of the Michelin Clio Cup Race Series campaign on 20th/21st September.Provisional 2014 Michelin Clio Cup Race Series Driver Standings (after Rd10):6th Ollie Pidgley, 131pts