Goodride dealers entertained at Donington
30 Goodride dealers saw the brand-supported Total Control Racing team driver Rob Smith continue his steep AirAsia Renault UK Clio Cup learning curve at Donington Park on 14-15 April. BMTR, Grouptyre and Goodride Performance Tyres were in the BMTR hospitality suite at the circuit. While Smith, a Loughborough University student, finished 17th in each race, Grouptyre says its guests found that the additional involvement of having a car and driver to support added to the experience.
Although not able to match the top eight performance he achieved during the season-opening event at Brands Hatch a fortnight ago due to a difficult Donington qualifying session, the Goodride Performance Tyres, Grouptyre and BMTR-backed Smith also kept the guests entertained over lunch with a question and answer session, which gave those present an additional insight into what is involved in being a competitor in the Clio Cup.
After missing out on the required tow during the 30-minute qualification session on Saturday, Smith found himself much further down the order than expected on the tenth row of the grid for rounds three and four – knowing a huge challenge lay ahead in both of the weekend’s races.
Determined to make early progress in Sunday morning’s encounter, the Telford 19-year-old’s hopes were dented just four corners into the race when a tap to the rear of his Renault Clio, coupled with some rapid avoiding action to miss the spinning car of Simon Belcher, resulted in an excursion onto the grass at the exit of the Old Hairpin. Gradually working his way into contention for some much-needed points, by lap five Smith was into the top 20 and he continued to plug away to an eventual finish of 17th.
Smith also had to settle for 17th place in the second race, though his lap times were much better circulating 0.8 seconds shy of the pace produced by race winner Jack Goff and reigning champion Paul Rivett.
Rounds five and six of the 2012 AirAsia Renault UK Clio Cup will take place on 28-29 April at Thruxton Circuit in Hampshire, as the series continues to support the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship. The AirAsia Renault UK Clio Cup is currently supplied by Michelin.