Season-long Michelin Clio Cup Race Series championship leader Luke Herbert held on to his lead in the driver standings at Brands Hatch – despite being forced into retirement in race two.
The Chichester driver, who headed into the fourth event of the season with a 37-point advantage, saw his lead reduced to just three points after rounds eight and nine, although he was able to secure his sixth podium of the campaign in the opening contest.
While disappointed to see his points lead diminished by double race winner Paul Streather (Hinckley), Herbert’s position when the category’s ‘drop score’ ruling is taken into account - each competitor required to subtract their lowest score of the year at the season’s end - his lead is 17 points.
Beginning round eight from fourth on the grid, Herbert made an astonishing launch from the line to surge into the lead around the outside into Paddock Hill Bend but the red flags were shown shortly after when Westbourne Motorsport team-mate Sam Randon (Ashbourne) was tapped out of the race and into the barriers.
At the second time of asking, Herbert brilliantly repeated his stunning getaway to lead once again and he held first place until lap 12 when issues with a misfire meant Streather was able to pounce. Herbert eventually ended the race in third place, behind Brett Lidsey (Gravesend).
Round nine, which took place in very wet conditions, only lasted just over five laps for Herbert when contact while dicing with Lidsey out of Druids resulted in damage which ruled him out of the contest.
“We struggled for pace a bit in race one, I had a mega start though and was a bit annoyed to see the red flags”, said Herbert, “It was difficult to repeat it at the re-start, but we managed it to get into the lead and then halfway through the race we developed a misfire. I’m happy to have had a podium and we’ve maintained first in the championship.”
Rounds 10 and 11 of the Michelin Clio Cup Race Series and Road Series, the penultimate event of the 2015 season, will take place on Saturday, 15th August, at Oulton Park in Cheshire.
Along with headline sponsors Michelin and Protyre, the Clio Cup Series is additionally supported by Ferodo and Safety Devices with further support for the Road Series from Monster Sport Europe.
Provisional 2015 Michelin Clio Cup Race Series Driver Standings (after Rd9):
1st Luke Herbert, 221pts; 2nd Paul Streather, 218pts; =3rd Brett Lidsey & Andy Jordan, 178pts; 5th Sam Randon, 159pts; 6th Adam Hatfield, 139pts
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