Spires takes over the lead

Anton Spires. Pic: Jakob Ebrey
Anton Spires. Pic: Jakob Ebrey

Anton Spires took a perfect points haul from the second event of the Michelin Clio Cup Road Series season at Oulton Park on Saturday to stay top of the standings.

The Milton Keynes racer dominated in qualifying to take his maiden pole position in the category by 0.8 seconds.

But it looked like he wouldn’t convert his qualifying dominance into race pace as he slipped to third after the opening lap of race 1.

But the 21-year-old battled back through the field, dispatched Nic Harrison for second and set a series of fastest laps to reel in Luke Pinder before passing on lap six.

From then, it was a comfortable drive to a 4.2 second victory.

In race 2, another slow start for Spires saw him slip to fourth on the opening lap once again, with Harrison taking the early lead.

Three laps in though he lost his advantage, with Pinder grabbing the lead at Cascades, Harrison slipping to fourth in the process – before a drive-through penalty for a false start dropped him further down the order.

Pinder held off Spires for another couple of laps before the Westbourne Motorsport driver sliced past, going on to take his second victory by a 4.2 second margin once again.

Spires’ spirited fights through the field were made worthwhile as he took over the championship lead, open a 13-point lead over Jake Honour, having also gained bonus points for fastest lap in each encounter.

“It’s been a perfect weekend”, he said.

“Two poles, two fastest laps and two race wins – it was just the starts.

“I got back into first though each time and just tried to manage the gap, look after the tyres and then get to the chequered flag first.

“I want to thank everyone at Westbourne, it’s an amazing team and the car set-up has been perfect.”

Spires now heads to Donington Park in two weeks time for rounds five and six of the Michelin Clio Cup Series leading the championship by 13 points.