Belfast Telegraph

Double delight for Paddy but crash denies teen a treble

By Peter Scherer

Two more wins at Oulton Park brought Newtownabbey teenager Paddy McClughan's tally for the season to eight in the Radical Sprint Championship.

But a race day hat-trick still eludes him after he crashed out in the third race, avoiding a spinning rival.

Qualifying had been wet but McClughan revelled in the conditions. He said: "I had plenty of grip, more than I expected. I got a good time early on and set pole mid-session."

It was a chaotic start to the first race when a multiple collision on the grid brought out the safety car.

"My start wasn't too bad, but I had too much wheelspin in the damp," McClughan explained.

After a couple of laps the green flag was waved again and the race was under way for good with McClughan chasing team-mate Ben Dimmack in a strong second place.

"I was into second from Cascades on the first lap, then chased Ben until he outbraked himself at Lodge on the fourth lap and I was through," he added.

The lead started to grow and by the chequered flag McClughan was over 11 seconds clear.

It was damp as the grid assembled for the second race but slicks were the obvious tyre choice. As the lights went out, McClughan had to fight hard to retain his advantage from pole and despite exiting the first corner at Old Hall, he was ahead for the first lap charge down the Avenue.

The lead continued to grow as the rest fought among themselves, but McClughan took charge to take his second win of the day by a dominant 25 seconds.

"It was my best start of the year. I struggled with my tyres in the first few laps but then it was okay and I found grip. But then it started to rain again and became difficult, so I just backed off and controlled the gap," he explained.

The top 10 were reversed for the third and final race which left McClughan to start from the fifth row.

"Someone spun in front of me at Island. I tried to go around him and put a wheel on the grass which was still wet," he explained. The car picked up pace and went straight through the gravel trap into the tyre wall. It had substantial damage to the front but apart from a few aches McClughan walked away unharmed.

The next rounds of the Championship are at Snetterton on July 11-12.

Belfast Telegraph


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