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Sam puts on strong display at Snetterton

22 YEAR OLD rookie Sam Randon concluded his short 2017 campaign in the Renault UK Clio Cup this weekend with 2 solid top ten finishes and a fastest lap beaten only by the two runaway leaders.

Sam had a difficult quali

In stark contrast to his Croft weekend, the weekend did not start well for the Ashbourne racer as his qualifying results left him languishing mid-pack, exactly where he didn’t want to to be.

“I left it too late to come in for new tyres during the qualifying session, and was unable to get them up to temperature and get my fast laps in.”
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Despite an encouraging position on the timing screens early on in the session, he finished disappointed back in P11 for race 1 and P9 for race 2.

Sam had a messy start in race 1 and dropped several places on the first lap, avoiding other collisions and fighting throughout the race to claim them back finishing 10th on the televised race.

“It’s was hard to overtake here and Clio racing is just so competitive that the slightest mistake gets punished every time”.

Sam dropped places on both starts

Sam’s start in race 2 wasn’t much better but then he was confronted with a competitor spinning in front of him, avoided the accident but lost more places on the first lap because of the incident.

Finding himself outside the top10 in P12 Sam was being held up but finding it difficult to get past.

“I was much happier with my performance in race 2 and was able to focus on going forwards”

Highlight was his overtake on teammate James Colburn

Sam did find a way past several cars and finished in a very credible P7, finishing the race battling fellow rookie and teammate James Dorlin for top honours in the Graduate cup for drivers new to the championship. Sam’s fastest lap in the race was only beaten by the 2 championship leaders, in their own battle at the front.

“I’m really pleased with my pace and the result all things considered. It just shows how important qualifying is in the Clios”.
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Now the work to get back in the Renault paddock

So the budget is now spent. This was the last race this year for Sam unless new investors can be found.

Sam summed up his Clio Cup experience;
“I’m happy that I’ve made an impression in the 2 weekends we’ve competed. We’re on the pace which is the important thing and shown we can compete at the sharp end. That was always the plan.”
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Remarkable achievement with so little track time

Father Neil said
“At this level in the sport, and with such limited track time, Sam’s achievement is remarkable, I’m so proud of him.
“We are hoping that by focussing on selling our professional hospitality and live TV brand exposure offered by the UK Clio Cup, that we can attract more local businesses to get involved and become a part of the next chapter in Sam’s racing career”.

Randon makes an impact in his debut Clio Cup appearance

ASHBOURNE racer Sam Randon stunned onlookers with his debut pace qualifying his turbocharged Renault Clio front row at Croft Circuit, near Darlington.

Sam arrived unknown in the UKCC paddock

Sadly he was unable to convert that qualifying result into any kind of race result; a technical issue in race one scuppered his chances in the wet, and then a first lap spin on live TV the final indignity.

New to the UK Clio Cup at Croft 22 year old Sam was understandably apprehensive competing at this level, having previously only raced the older generation3 Clio in the club level Michelin Clio Cup Series.

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Sam explained how three years in the generation 3 Clio has prepared him well for the UK Clio Cup.

I think the gen 3 car is actually more difficult to drive so it’s ideal preparation for any driver aspiring to reach the UK Clio Cup and very good value for money.

He was immediately on the pace

In contrast, the UK Clio Cup races in the TOCA package alongside the British Touring Car Championship, an event that attracts up to 40,000 spectators.

It felt like the first day of school. I really didn’t know what to expect or where I would be.” said Sam
So I was delighted to have been on the pace so quickly and qualify so well.

He didn’t have it all his own way in qualifying as the car refused to downshift on his outlap, but his Westbourne support team had to hastily reset the electronics and send him back out. Little did they know, that same gear change fault would return in Saturday’s race.

Race 1 was cut short by agearshift problem

I’m under no illusion just how hard it’s going to be to convert this to a result. There’s some real quality drivers on this grid“.

Having a premature exit to Saturday’s race Sam was looking forward to a dry race on Sunday, lining up on the front row alongside championship Mike Bushell.

Incredible achievement to qualify so well on his debut.” exclaimed ITV4 commentator Phil Glew as the grid formed.

Race 2 was live on TV

I got a good start and was alongside Mike down into the first corner.”  Sam explains.

I was on his boot lid and even thinking about having a run at him after the chicane, but then it all went wrong“.

The margin between hero and zero is slim. Sam thinks he took too much kerb through the chicane and on cold rear tyres it tipped the rear of the car into an uncontrollable slide.

Probably the biggest difference between the old car and this turbocharged Clio is ability to save a slide like this. The old car was easy to catch but this one swings like a pendulum once it has lost traction

Moment of impact

Live on TV, the commentators said Sam’s car #10 did well to avoid the wall, but the spin left him in the middle of the track and an unsighted Dan Rowbottom t-boned the drivers door.

I’ve apologised to Dan. It was a rookie error and I’m so mad with myself. I threw away the chance to showcase what I can do on live TV against some of the best drivers in the country.

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A debut to remember in more ways than one!

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Now Sam has to do it all again if he can raise the budget in time for Snetterton at the end of July.

There are lots of positives from the weekend so I will focus on that and not dwell on the race results. I think I made an impact one way or another. They certainly know who I am now!”

Sam joins the UK Clio Cup

ASHBOURNE racer Sam Randon will finally get his 2017 season up and running at Croft Circuit, near Darlington, in early June.

And he will do so in front of a live TV audience as he attempts to take his career up a notch.

After finishing third in the Michelin Clio Cup Series last year, 22-year-old had planned to make the step up this season to the higher profile UK Clio Cup but a lack of funds foiled his aspirations.

Frustratingly, he had to sit out the first three race weekends as his competitors raced without him.

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Sam tested the Clio last week

We knew the budget at this level would be a challenge.” said Randon.

But this is the right step for my racing career, so we decided to hold out until we had the funds to compete.”

Now he has.

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The Clios race in front of huge crowds

The Renault UK Clio Cup is the premier category to be seen in for aspiring touring car and sports car drivers, featuring at Britain’s best circuits with all its races taking place alongside the world famous Dunlop British Touring Car Championship.

On top of live coverage on ITV4, the events attract close to 40,000 people on average at each event.

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Half the current BTCC grid raced Clios and it can attract high-profile drivers such as Nicholas Hamilton, brother of F1 world champion Lewis, who is also competing this year.

While sitting out the racing, Randon has worked hard to generate sponsorship. Long-time sponsor Twincentric Integration have this year stepped up to become prime sponsor.

Mock up of how the car will look on TV

We are delighted to be running not only with Twincentric’s big blue logo on the car but we will also be supporting and promoting the Prostate Cancer charity on behalf of Twincentric,” said Randon.

The company’s managing director, Tony McGurk, said: “We’ve been supporting Sam’s racing since his karting days so it’s great to see him now at this level and we are very proud to see him racing with our logo on TV.

Randon also continues his association with Derbyshire based sponsors Greenbank Group, of Swadlincote, the Chequered Flag micro-pub in Castle Donington and Derby Remapping Services.

“The sim is surprisingly good preparation for the real thing when you simply don’t have the budget”

Preparation for the Croft weekend will include only a single track test day, supplemented by sessions in a professional racing simulator which Randon has used with some success in the past.

Sam’s biggest supporter is his father, Neil. “The simulator is much cheaper than getting the car to a track with all the necessary team support,” said Randon senior.

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We are throwing Sam in at the deep end a bit as these turbo-charged Clios are very different to the older car he is used to.

We have to be realistic about what he can achieve with so little preparation but we are aiming for a top 10 finish, which would be a real achievement for him first time out at this level.

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The race will be on ITV4 on Sunday, June 11.

Story by Colston Crawford, Derby Telegraph

Lack of cash puts brake on Randon’s dream

ASHBOURNE racer Sam Randon’s dream of completing another full season in the UK Clio Cup has been hit by a lack of budget.

The 22-year-old admits he will miss the first few rounds of the championship, which starts at Brands Hatch on the first weekend in April, because he does not have the necessary funding. After four successful years in the feeder series, the Michelin Clio Cup Series, racing a generation three race-prepared Renault Clio, Randon had hoped to make the next step in his racing career. That means racing the generation four Clio in nine UK Clio Cup events, between April and September, in front of TV cameras as part of the British Touring Car Championship weekends.

He said: “We’ve been working hard to find new sponsors during the winter and are still talking to several interested parties but, with only two weeks to go until the season kicks off, we have had to accept that we won’t be able to fund a full season.

“I haven’t given up on the dream and will definitely be on the track for several of the races later this year.”

His father, Neil, added: “It’s not the end of the world as a typical campaign to reach success at this level would be for three years and Sam is still quite young so we have plenty of time.

“But lack of track time will put Sam at a disadvantage and this championship is already incredibly competitive, so it makes the challenge even bigger for him.

Contact Sam for a brochure

“But Sam is determined this is where he wants to be so watch this space!”

Randon finished third in the Michelin Clio Cup Series Championship which came to a climax in October.

Randon tested the generation four car during the winter and loved it.

He said: “The gen four is turbo-charged so gets out of the slow corners very quickly but it was the brakes I loved. With no servo assistance I could jump on the brakes just like a go-kart.”

Anyone willing to help should contact Sam via this link.

Sam hosts Marketing Derby event

22 year old Derbyshire racing driver Sam Randon hosted a packed Marketing Derby event at the prestigious Donington Grand Prix Museum this week.

Marketing Derby promotes the city in order to attract and support investment and comprises many local businesses as bondholders; from small, sole-trader companies to the region’s largest firms, the Bondholder community is a vast and vibrant collection of what makes Derby great.

Bondholder Cactus Images tweeted some great pictures of the event

Bondholders who braved storm Doris were treated to an introduction into Sam’s ‘crazy world of motorsport’ and career goals with an exciting video and presentation, followed by the opportunity to sit in the race car.

Sam raffled off 2 bottles of podium champagne to finish a great night of networking with the local business community.

Local business Gravity Digital having some fun with Sam

Bondholder AWD Developement tweeted “Thanks to @SamRandonRacing for hosting tonight’s @MarketingDerby #bondholder event @DoningtonParkUK. Great evening at a great venue.

XL Banners tweeted “Great turn out for @SamRandonRacing at @DoningtonPark for a @MarketingDerby #bondholder event ‘come join the adventure’

Sam takes third in Championship

SAM Randon is hoping to go up a gear after finishing third in the Michelin Clio Cup Series Championship.

Randon shows off his championship trophy along with race trophy

The Ashbourne racer went into the final event at Silverstone holding on to third place with Luke Pinder snapping at his heels. And despite being forced to retire in race one, he recovered to finish third in race two to make sure he was not overtaken in the final standings.

And now he has his sights on going up a level.
I’m hoping to compete in the UK Clio Cup which races in front of the British Touring Car Championship crowds, which approaches 40,000 people at each event,” he said.

“But it is solely down to funding and we will be working hard over the winter.”

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Randon made a flying start to the first race but after contact from behind, soon found himself in fourth, behind Pinder and desperately trying to gain ground on his rival for third.

I got on his inside coming into club corner onto the pit straight and thought I had the corner won as Luke ran off the circuit,” Randon explained,

but he kept his foot in and when he re-joined the circuit there was heavy contact.”

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Pinder ended up in the wall, while Randon had to retire with his steering seriously damaged. But that was quickly repaired by his Westbourne team and he fared better in the second race. Championship winner James Dorlin won, leaving Randon to battle for second with Brett Lidsey.

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I did actually get past Brett on the penultimate lap down the Hanger straight but my wing mirror had folded in so I couldn’t see where he was behind me and he retook the place on the straight back,” said Randon.

I’m pleased with third in the Championship but still feel I should have been challenging more for the top two places. Qualifying has been my downfall though my starts have been mega.”

Randon, Dorlin and Lidsey battled out race 2 ahead of the field – picture by Phil Laughton

Meet Sam Randon

Watch this video created by Downforce Radio’s Jake Sanson

Click here for a full 2016 season review

Click here for a full 2015 season review

Click here for a full 2014 season review

Click here for a full 2013 season review

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KEYWORDS Neil Randon get started in karting start karting TKM not ROTAX Whilton Mill, Kimbolton, Shenington, Rissington, BT82,Super 1 one, clutched direct drive, Tony, flags, trophy, clio cup protyre, renault, BARC,BTCC, British Touring Car Championship, Westbourne, SWB, SV, Danny Buxton, talent, future, racing driver

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