Jack Young served up a dominant performance in France this past weekend (June 22/23) as he proved to be in a league of his own in the Renault Clio Cup International Open, winning both races in emphatic style.
Flying the flag for the Renault UK Clio Cup alongside five other British drivers at Paul Ricard on the support bill of the Formula 1 French Grand Prix, the Northern Irishman underlined his credentials on the global stage in devastating fashion.
Having contested and triumphed in last year’s ‘world final’ around the 3.6-mile circuit, the 17-year-old had been tipped to be in the mix for victory across the weekend amidst the 44-car entry list.
Topping the times in practice, the Eddie Stobart Racing driver carried his front-running momentum into qualifying where he lit up the time-sheets once more as he powered to pole position for both races.
There was plenty for UK fans to celebrate too as Young’s MRM Racing team-mate Brett Lidsey put in a scintillating lap to join him on the front row of the grid for race one.
Dropping the clutch as the lights went out, Young made a perfect start in the searing French heat and was soon putting distance between himself and the chasing pack in the opening encounter. Building a gap as he each lap ticked by, the former UK Clio Cup Junior champion ultimately took the chequered flag to win by a staggering 22 seconds.
Behind, Lidsey found himself in the thick of the action and ultimately had to serve a drive-through penalty for causing a collision, ultimately going on to end up 21st. David Pouget would finish second whilst Westbourne Motorsport’s Ben Colburn ensured the British flag would fly twice on the podium as he finished third.
James Colburn had ran as high as sixth at one stage before being forced to pit for a mechanical issue. Luke Warr meanwhile finished 24th whilst Aaron Thompson was 31st.
Race two mirrored the first race at Le Castellet as Young once again exerted his dominance to show the chasing pack a clean set of heels. Nailing the start from pole position, the teenager got his head down and began to pull away, just like he had done the day before.
Streaking clear of the field, Young crossed the line to secure his third International career win by 21 seconds this time – with Benoit Castagne and Felice Jelmini rounding out the podium.
Ben Colburn and Lidsey capped off the top ten in ninth and tenth whilst Thompson made solid progress to finish 17th. Warr was 31st, with James Colburn unforuntately a retirement after nine laps.
The Renault UK Clio Cup will continue this weekend (June 29/30) with the fourth event of the season taking place at Oulton Park, with Young narrowly leading the way in the championship standings ahead of Max Coates.