Chichester race ace Luke Herbert made a welcome return to the Michelin Clio Cup series podium at Snetterton, Norfolk, with a sensational drive to second place in round nine of the competition.
Starting the race – beamed live across the UK on Motors TV – from an excellent third on the grid, the Westbourne Motorsport driver held position on the run to the first corner ahead of Renault UK Clio Cup regular Ant Whorton-Eales (Lichfield) before a monumental six-car battle developed.
With outstanding door handle-to-door handle action throughout the ten laps, and without the slightest hint of contact between the evenly-matched 2.0-litre Clios, Herbert eventually came out on top against Whorton-Eales, Brett Smith (Wellingborough), David Dickenson (Wicklow, Ireland) and Paul Streather (Hinckley) to finish the race just 0.6 seconds behind race winner Mike Robinson (Surbiton).
Herbert also took the bonus points for fastest lap.
“It was mad, I’m surprised we all stayed on the track as it was chopping and changing so much,” said an elated Herbert after the race.
“What’s let us down all season has been my qualifying. It’s not been the car or the team, I’ve just been too worked up and had too much anxiety to get out there.
“What we worked on this weekend was focusing on being smooth, keeping it cool and I ended up qualifying near the front. The team have done a fantastic job in all aspects – brilliant result.”
In round ten the next day, Herbert finished just outside the podium placings on the run to the line to take fourth spot. His combined points tally for the weekend elevated him into the championship top three ahead of the final two rounds of the season at Croft Circuit in North Yorkshire on September 20 and 21.
Along with headline sponsors Michelin and Protyre, the Clio Cup is also supported by Ferodo and Safety Devices.
Driver standings: 1 Mike Robinson, 282pts; 2 David Dickenson, 230; 3 Luke Herbert, 207.