Finlay Robinson shows promise on Renault UK Clio Cup debut at Brands Hatch

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Finlay Robinson shows promise on point-scoring Renault UK Clio Cup debut.

First Graduates Cup podium and championship points for Renault UK Clio Cup newcomer at season opener.

Unfortunate gearbox fault the only negative to encouraging start in the category for Michelin Clio Cup Series graduate.

Vantage Motor Group, Aston Barclay, GardX Protection, Premia Solutions and eDynamix-backed racer set to build on solid start as championship heads next to Donington Park.

Westbourne Motorsport’s Finlay Robinson showed great promise on his points-scoring debut as the Renault UK Clio Cup returned to action at Brands Hatch last week.

Robinson – who runs with the backing of Vantage Motor Group, Aston Barclay, GardX Protection, eDynamix and Premia Solutions – qualified inside the top ten on his first attempt after clocking a best time of 53.090s around the 1.2-mile Kent circuit, a mere 0.7s from pole position.

He then cemented that early pace with a points finish at the first time of asking, rising through the order to seventh at the chequered flag after some superb simultaneous offensive and defensive driving, which also earnt the 18-year old a first Graduates Cup podium finish in the category.

A suspected gearbox issue on his fourth-generation RS Clio 220 prevented Robinson from building on that result in the final contest, screened live nationwide on ITV4, but regardless the positives are there to be drawn upon as the championship heads next to Donington Park over the weekend of 27-28 April.

“I’m really pleased with my performance across my first weekend in the Renault UK Clio Cup,” said Robinson.

“It was fantastic to finish my first-ever race in the championship in seventh; the track conditions weren’t great, but I managed to make a good start and start working my through the pack. It was great to have a battle with two of my team-mates – Aaron Thompson and Ben Colburn – whilst simultaneously defending from others behind.

“Unfortunately there is some disappointment at not being able to build on that in the final race after a gearbox problem. I just lost drive altogether on the grid and that was that. There’s no point dwelling on it any longer though, and now the focus turns to the next two rounds at Donington Park.

“I’d like to put on record my thanks to all my sponsors – Vantage Motor Group, Aston Barclay, GardX Protection, Premia Solutions and eDynamix – as well as everyone at Westbourne Motorsport, for such a promising start to the year and all their continued support.”