Renault UK Clio Cup drivers underlined their class at Paul Ricard this past weekend (November 3/4) as Jack Young led a British 1-2 in the Clio Cup International Final to win a brand new Renault Megane R.S.
Bringing together the top Clio Cup competitors from around the world, the coveted race saw drivers from Central European, Chinese, Spanish, French, British and Italian Clio Cups battle it out to bring the curtain down on a successful 2018 campaign in France.
Having showcased their supremacy in the Central European block of races, with Max Coates triumphing in race one before Young scored a win of his own in the second encounter, the British duo turned the wick on their competition in qualifying for the grand final.
Fighting for track position against 37 other Clio Cup cars in the 30-minute session, Young and Coates hit the top of the timesheets midway through qualifying and were then never bettered, with Young edging UK championship runner-up Coates by a mere 0.210.
Brett Lidsey, the third UK Clio Cup competitor competing at the event, hustled his MRM Racing machine to fifth place – further underlining the superiority of the British contingent.
Getting a clean start as the lights went out, Young converted his pole position into a lead that he would ultimately never lose, producing a superlative lights-to-flag performance.
With Coates and Benoît Castagné hot on the heels of the 17-year-old Northern Irishman, the top three soon broke away from the chasing pack, as battles took place throughout the bumper field.
Lidsey would run as high as fourth at one stage but would soon tumble down the order before being involved in an incident with David Pouget, which put the Frenchman on his roof and ended Lidsey’s race on the spot.
Back at the front, last year’s Clio Cup Junior champion held his nerve to take the chequered flag and land the biggest prize of his relatively short career so far. Coates finished second whilst Castagné rounded out the rostrum in third place.
Commenting on his victory, Young said: “This is amazing! Honestly, I still don’t quite believe it looking at how strong the field was. Max pushed me all race long, like he did earlier in the weekend.
“Little by little, he closed the gap, but I managed to pull away after the safety car. From there, I just had to control until the chequered flag.
“This is great and unreal, but I hope I’ll be able to defend this title next year!”