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 is secure when the category’s ‘drop score’ ruling is taken into account.
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.
However, 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.
Herbert was a little disappointed to see the red flags in his opening race and said: “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.
“It was difficult to repeat it at the re-start, but we managed 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.”
The race series continues in two weeks’ time.
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