Aylesbury racing driver Matt Fincham fought hard at Rockingham in Northamptonshire to secure a maiden Michelin Clio Cup Road Series podium on his category debut.
With the odds stacked against him, the Go Racing Motorsport driver delivered a richly-deserved third place finish in round three on Sunday – a great reward after being hit with mechanical issues from the outset of the weekend.
Fincham’s build-up to his Road Series debut wasn’t at all smooth during the week before the event due to tonsillitis. Still under the weather as the race weekend neared, more problems surfaced when the driveshaft on his Clio failed as the team moved the car out of its workshop.
After missing testing on Friday, Fincham’s first mileage in the race-converted Clio Renaultsport 197 came during qualifying on Saturday but his bad luck continued when the engine failed.
In the races, though, things improved and after finishing fifth in round one and an improved fourth in round two, in the final race of the weekend on Sunday he starred with an excellent top three finish.
Fincham said: “It’s good to be on the podium but it’s been real hard work. We’ve had a lot of problems, even the driveshaft broke on the way out of the workshop so we missed testing. Then the engine went in qualifying, which was the first time I’d driven this car.
“We came here to do well but, with the problems we had, we’ve done well, especially as I’d been off during the week with tonsillitis.”
There is now a break of almost two months in the calendar before rounds four and five take place at Thruxton.
Clio Cup standings: 1) Luke Pinder, 102pts; 2) Jake Honour, 84; 3) Nic Harrison, 72; 4) Matt Fincham, 67.