Chris at Imola and The Red Bull Ring...

4 June 2012

Chris headed out to Europe last weekend to compete as a guest in the 2nd round of the Italian Clio Cup in Imola, and 3 days later in the 3rd round of the Bohemia Clio Cup, his first competitive races for 7 months because of a failed attempt to get the budget together to compete in the British Touring Car Championship.

Chris struggled initially in Italy, not only due to lack of recent race preparation and practice, but also the fact the circuits are much longer and wider, with the grids much bigger with nearly 40 cars registered for the series, but he was pleased when he managed to qualify 19th, and then went onto finish 15th in the first race, and despite a drive through penalty later in the second race which put him back to 29th, he eventually fought his way back to 20th in the second race.

With the experience of Italy, Chris went to The Red Bull Ring in Austria for the Bohemia Clio Cup, and that experience certainly showed when in the first practice session he finished 5th quickest, and then went onto qualify 9th. The first race was very competitive with more than a fair share of contact, and on the 8th lap with 3 or 4 cars a breast Chris was pushed wide and into the gravel, but somehow managed to keep the car going and joined back in the race much further down the order before fighting his way back up to 17th. With the starting positions for the second race being the finishing positions of the first race, Chris had to start much further back. This race unlike the first was a very tight with little between any of the cars, a race in which over the 16 laps of the 4.236m circuit Chris managed to get himself up to 12th by the chequered flag.

After the race Chris said he had learnt a lot in the few days he had been out there, and given his progress would expect to be in the top ten on his next visit to Europe. Team Manager Mark Hunt was more than pleased with his new driver: "Considering the lad has not competed in a race in 7 months and only completed one test day with us, I think he has done brilliant and in months to come he will be one to watch out for in Europe."