The championship-leading SV Racing (SVR) team is determined to carry its dominant form down south to Hampshire’s super-quick Thruxton circuit for the next instalments in the 2014 Courier Connections Renault UK Clio Cup and Michelin Ginetta GT4 Supercup (3-4 May).
SVR has utterly dominated the top step of the UK Clio Cup podium in 2014, Alex Morgan and Josh Cook sharing the spoils in the opening two rounds of the season at Brands Hatch and Donington Park.
In a superlative display of dominance, the Cheshire-based outfit locked out the top four places in the most recent UK Clio Cup encounter in the East Midlands, with Letchworth Garden City’s David Pittard also consolidating his championship position and notching up another podium finish in the highly-competitive Ginetta GT4 Supercup.
With the highest average speed of any circuit on the calendar, Thruxton can be a formidable and intimidating track and it traditionally provides some of the spectacular racing action of the year.
However, following a hugely productive official test at the Andover-based venue earlier this month, there is an air of cautious optimism within the SVR fold that it can be conquered.
For Morgan, a resident of Reading, this is a home race and he said: “I’m really looking forward to Thruxton and I’m not expecting anything less than two podium finishes to consolidate my championship lead. Mine and SV Racing’s experience in the Renault Eurocup Clio Championship at Motorland Aragon, Spain last weekend (26-27 April) has taught me a lot and shows how hard you have to work to achieve your goals in motorsport. I have to be consistent and score regular points but I was quick at Thruxton in testing and had a podium there last year, so I’m quite hopeful of qualifying in the top four and moving forwards in the races.”
Thruxton is also home turf for Bristol’s Cook, who said: “Even though I was quickest in official testing, there will be a fresh slate by the time we get to qualifying on Saturday. I had three tenths on the competition at the test but there’s still more time to drag out of the car. I couldn’t be in a better place after my race wins at Donington Park, but podium finishes and strong points finishes are the target at this stage of the season, as I have to stay focused on the bigger picture.
“It was fantastic for SV Racing to achieve a one-two-three-four finish last time out at Donington, as it shows the UK Clio Cup is being controlled by the team and suggests two or three of us will be in the mix come the end of the year, if we keep racing properly. Thruxton is generally one of my stronger circuits, but anything can happen there. I have a lot of motivation and, while taking the lead in the points would massage my ego, it’s not a priority.”
Pittard said: “Certainly, to start the season in the way we have after completing no testing is just fantastic. I feel there’s a lot more potential to come from myself and the car and I really want to show more pace and run with the frontrunners at Thruxton, just as I did in the pre-event test earlier this month. Three top-five finishes would be perfect. I just need to work on my consistency because, while I’m able to comfortably hit purple and green sectors, it’s all about stringing those together. But the test was only my first visit to Thruxton and, while I was daunted by the circuit at first, I don’t think I’ve ever felt such a huge adrenaline buzz! You really do drive on the seat of your pants, on the ragged edge and I felt giddy when I got out of the car! It will be interesting to see how I race there and I think it may be a leveller, coming down to instinct rather than track time.”
SV Racing Director, Danny Buxton, concluded: “Donington Park was a fantastic weekend, but I’m under no illusions and don’t expect to achieve that sort of success at every circuit we visit. A couple of podium finishes in both the UK Clio Cup and Ginetta GT4 Supercup would be absolutely ideal and, while we were quick in testing, it’s important not to take anything for granted and continue working hard to stay consistent. I’m really looking forward to seeing what David (Pittard) can do this weekend, as he went really well in pre-event testing at Thruxton. I hope he can take a couple of podiums and keep his championship looking healthy, as consistency is imperative at what will inevitably be the weakest point of his season while learning the Ginetta G55.”
Michelin Ginetta GT4 Supercup qualifying is scheduled to take place from 9.30 on Saturday (3 May), while Rounds 7 and 8 will begin at 15.20 and 17.45 respectively.
Round 9, meanwhile, is due to get underway at 13.22 the following day (Sunday 4 May) and will be broadcast live and in high definition on ITV4 and ITV4HD.
Courier Connections Renault UK Clio Cup qualifying will start at 11.20 on Saturday (3 May), with Rounds 5 and 6 at 10.40 and 15.50 on Sunday (4 May).
For more information on SV Racing, please visit the new www.svracing.co.uk website, 'like' the team's Facebook page or follow @SV_Racing on Twitter.