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Ant Whorton-Eales pleased with ‘mega’ Team HARD test

After running in the Team.HARD Toyota Avensis for the second day of the official Dunlop tyre test at Snetterton, experienced Clio Cup campaigner Ant Whorton-Eales was left elated with his maiden foray into NGTC machinery.

The Midlands-based driver currently sits atop the popular support series’ standings, three points clear of former driver Mike Bushell with a total of four race victories from the opening ten rounds of this years championship.

He admitted it was a step into the unknown to be running in a car with an entire set of fresh tyres, as the Clio Cup field tend to focus on just putting new rubber on the front end of the front-wheel drive cars.

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He also felt both he and the team performed well in the speed traps, paying tribute to his Clio Cup heritage as a contributing factor.

“We had one new set of tyres in the morning which was the first time I’d been on new tyres all the way round a car because in Clios we only concentrate on the fronts.” explained Whorton-Eales.

“We seemed to be really strong in the speed traps and coming off the corners and I think I’ve developed that technique racing in Clios for so long – our corner exits are very important.”

The former KX Academy member also gave an insight into the grip in an NGTC car compared to his previous running.

“I was a bit of time here and there through the fast corners because we’re not quite carrying the speed yet. You underestimate just how much grip there is in these cars. When it does break traction though it breaks fast and you soon run out of tarmac.”

When quizzed as to whether the test could lead to a potential race seat in the UK’s premier tin-top series at a later date, Whorton-Eales responded realistically, but is hopeful of making the step up at some stage.

“It’s something I had always wanted to do – I’ve always wanted to have a go in a touring car and Tony (Gilham) has given me the chance. I’m here again in Clios in a couple of weeks so it’s a bit of track time as well. Whether it will lead anywhere who knows, great if it does.”

The series reconvenes at Snetterton over the weekend of 29-31 July for the first triple header following the summer break.

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