Beyton’s Charles Ladell raced to a fantastic second-place finish in his first-ever race in the Michelin Clio Cup Series at Rockingham in Northamptonshire on Saturday before adding another top-four result in the second Autumn Cup outing of the weekend.
Driving for top team Westbourne Motorsport — the squad which steered Ladell to the SaxMax Championship rookie-of-the-year title in 2011 — the 17-year-old starred on his maiden outing in Renault Clios.
Qualifying third fastest for his category debut, the Suffolk racer slipped back initially, but fought his way into third place midway around the opening lap with a superb move on the outside line at Tarzan Hairpin.
The Clio rookie, who was the Fiesta Junior Champion in 2012, started to put pressure on Alex Walker (Oldham) for second place and grabbed the position at Deene before pulling clear of the rest of the field.
In race two — the first-ever 45-minute enduro on British soil for Renault Clios — Ladell added fourth position to cap off an excellent maiden weekend in the ultra-competitive category.
“We had good pace all weekend,” said Ladell. “I got a bad start in race one, but to come back through to second was a good result for us.
“The Clio is a very different car to drive from what I’ve been used to — it’s much more responsive and quicker than anything I’ve driven before.”