Streather forced to miss Rds1&2
Renault UK Clio Cup title contender Paul Streather watched his 2017 hopes dealt a hammer blow of nightmarish proportions before the new season had even started at Brands Hatch over the weekend, 1st/2nd April, as a result of heavy contact from a rival in pre-event testing. What initially looked to be an innocuous spin at Graham Hill Bend midway through the run soon turned into disaster for the Hinckley-based driver, at his second year in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship support category. As he waited to get his Clio going in the right direction again, another driver surprisingly slammed into Streather’s stricken car.
Leading to immense damage for both vehicles, each competitor was taken to the circuit medical centre and Streather was transported to nearby hospital. Thankfully, a CT scan gave the all-clear but he had to gain permission to compete in Saturday’s qualifying session, and the subsequent races, from the circuit doctor who declined the possibility on the grounds of the concussion sustained.
Aside from the severity of the incident, insult was added to injury for Streather due to a change in championship regulations this year. For the first time the old ‘drop score’ ruling, which meant drivers could deduct their worst results of the season before calculating final totals, is no longer applicable. Dealing the 27-year-old’s championship hopes a massive blow, the Michael Smith Switchgear and AVW Fabrications-backed racer is now eyeing a return to action a fortnight from now during rounds three and four at his local track, Donington Park. First, though, he will need medical clearance.
The one positive out of all of the drama and disappointment was the incredible work of the WDE Motorsport mechanics who, somehow, managed to completely re-shell, fully prep and even apply a full new livery to Streather’s repaired Clio – truly phenomenal stuff. Working tirelessly through the night on Friday, the team completed the Herculean task at 6am on Saturday morning before it became clear Streather wouldn’t be given permission to return to track action in either qualifying or the races.
“Hopefully we can get the all-clear for Donington and give the team the results they deserve. There’s still plenty to achieve, we’ve got to go out there and prove we’ve got the pace to be race winners and be at the front, that’s where we belong. The championship might be out of reach already, but it doesn’t mean race wins are.” – Streather said.
Rounds three and four of the Clio Cup season are scheduled to take place over Easter weekend, 15th/16th April, at Donington Park National Circuit.