STREATHER SHOWS FI­NESSE TO WIN

Streather and re­turnee Pat­ti­son share the spoils in close races

Motor Sport News - - BTCC Report: Brands Hatch - By Stephen Lick­o­r­ish RACE DATA

Paul Streather first showed his po­ten­tial when he al­most won his sec­ond ever race in the cat­e­gory last year. Now he has proved that wasn’t a fluke re­sult by win­ning the sea­son opener.

Streather ad­mit­ted he was un­der some pres­sure to match 2015’s eye-catch­ing per­for­mance and he cer­tainly did that in a typ­i­cally close Re­nault Clio Cup opener.

The Fi­nesse driver went around the out­side of fel­low front row starter Daniel Row­bot­tom into Pad­dock Hill Bend to take the lead. There was soon more drama with Row­bot­tom an un­for­tu­nate vic­tim, catch­ing the kerb on the inside and spin­ning across the pack. He was col­lected by Dan Ze­los and ended a race full of prom­ise in the gravel.

Streather mean­while built a small lead over se­ries re­turnee Lee Pat­ti­son, while for­mer cham­pi­ons Paul Rivett and Mike Bushell squab­bled be­hind. Bushell made a move on the WDE driver at Clear­ways but this was un­der yel­lows and he was handed a grid penalty for race two.

With Row­bot­tom and Ze­los’s cars prov­ing tough to shift the safety car was called, which closed the top four up and they never sep­a­rated af­ter that. Even a bit of rain failed to spread the lead­ers out.

Streather made a good restart and con­trolled the race to the flag, keep­ing a small gap over step brother-in-law Pat­ti­son.

“That was hard work,” said the win­ner, “the rain and the safety car weren’t re­ally to my lik­ing.”

Rivett man­aged to repass Bushell but was un­able to chal­lenge Pat­ti­son as the top four were sep­a­rated by less than a sec­ond at the flag.

Race two fol­lowed a sim­i­lar pat­tern as the same four driv­ers were again the class of the field. The first cor­ner was less dra­matic sec­ond time around as pole­man Pat­ti­son main­tained his ad­van­tage, while Streather re­peated his race one ma­noeu­vre to jump Ze­los, who qual­i­fied an im­pres­sive third. Ze­los later dropped down the or­der.

Streather then made his first mis­take all week­end as he ran wide four laps later and gifted a place to Bushell. The 2014 cham­pion set about pass­ing

1 Paul Streather (Fi­nesse Mo­tor­sport) 23m25.887s (71.14mph); 2 Lee Pat­ti­son (Team Cook­sport) +0.468s; 3 Paul Rivett (WDE Mo­tor­sport); 4 Mike Bushell (Team BMR with Pyro); 5 Char­lie Ladell (WDE Mo­tor­sport); 6 Max Coates (Cice­ley Mo­tor­sport). Fastest lap Ant Whor­ton-eales (Jam Sport) 52.874s (82.24mph). Pole Daniel Row­bot­tom (Team Eco­mo­tive with DRM). Starters 23. 1 Pat­ti­son 17m03.665s (80.71mph); 2 Rivett +1.374s; 3 Bushell; 4 Streather; 5 Ladell; 6 Whor­ton-eales. FL Whor­tonEales 52.638s (82.61mph). P Pat­ti­son. S 23. Points (af­ter 2/18 rounds) 1 Pat­ti­son 60; 2 Streather 54; 3 Rivett 53; 4 Bushell 45; 5 Ladell 40; 6 Whor­ton-eales 36.

Rivett, which al­lowed Pat­ti­son a small breath­ing space. Bushell made re­peated at­tempts, but Rivett al­ways had an an­swer, even when Bushell tagged him on the pit straight and sent him into a lurid slide.

This meant Pat­ti­son was able to take the win – Cook­sport’s maiden tri­umph – from Rivett, Bushell and Streather.

“To come here and get a first and a sec­ond, I’m over the moon,” en­thused Pat­ti­son. “I didn’t come back to just make up the num­bers!”

One driver who was ex­pected to be chal­leng­ing those four was Ant Whor­ton-eales. He qual­i­fied on pole for both races but was de­moted to last af­ter be­ing found to have non­com­ply­ing brakes. He stormed through the field to fin­ish eighth and sixth in the races.

1 Florescu 50; 2 Pull 45; 3 Field­ing 35; 4 Fewtrell 34; 5 Leeds 32; 6 Martins 28.

1 Dino Zam­par­elli (GT Mar­ques) 30m06.042s (77.04mph); 2 Dan Cam­mish (Red­line Rac­ing) +4.346s; 3 Tom Sharp (IDL Rac­ing); 4 Char­lie East­wood (Red­line Rac­ing); 5 Tom Oliphant (Team Red­line); 6 Stephen Jel­ley (Team Parker Rac­ing). CW John Mc­cul­lagh (Red­line Rac­ing); Tautvy­das Barstys (Juta Rac­ing). FL Zam­par­elli 47.316s (91.90mph). P Cam­mish. S 23.

1 Cam­mish 26m23.280s (90.63mph); 2 Zam­par­elli +6.176s; 3 Jel­ley; 4 Oliphant; 5 Sharp; 6 East­wood. CW Sean Hud­speth (Parr Mo­tor­sport); Mark Rad­cliffe (In­ter­sport). FL Zam­par­elli 47.292s (91.95mph). P Cam­mish. S 23.

Streather was un­der pres­sure through­out Re­nault UK Clio Cup Pat­ti­son won race two

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