Patrick McClughan put in a determined performance and notched up more points at Donington Park last weekend, in rounds three and four of the 2011 Ginetta Junior Championship.
Paddy, who is taking in his second season in the Ginetta Junior Championship for 14-17 year-olds this year and who equalled his best result of 2010 at the season opener at Brands Hatch two weeks ago, was eleventh in practice in his Kelvin Jones Motorsport-run car.
He then proceeded to take an encouraging eighth place in qualifying, his best Q performance to date: “We didn't get the maximum out of the car but we still qualified eighth,” said Paddy, who attends Campbell College in Belfast. “We know there is so much more to come.
“But it was still extremely positive to see that we have definitely made improvements and I have made improvements in terms of my driving. It was very good and we were very happy.”
The 15-year-old then came through to take ninth in the opening race at the Leicestershire-based venue, persevering despite a number of skirmishes that left his Ginetta G40J in less than pristine condition.
“It was another very action packed race. There was lots of carnage and battles going on. But unfortunately I got taken out quite a lot by a lot of different cars,” Paddy recalled. “The car was in a very bad state by the end. It was damage limitation basically. But we still finished in P9 and got some points and I was happy to be able to bring the car home.”
The second race was a similar tale, but once again another resolute performance netted the Cimpina Ltd-backed youngster a top-ten and his second ninth place of the weekend.
“We got a really good start, but then at the end of the first lap there was an accident and the safety car came out. At this point I was running seventh or eighth,” he continued.
“Then the safety car went in and at the chicane, at the end of lap 5, someone spun and to avoid it I had to go over a massive kerb. I think I actually bent the steering arm on the car [as a result]. The car was undriveable after that. It was unfortunate as I was right in the thick of the action and could have ended up with another good result. But again, like the first race, it was a case of damage limitation and I just wanted to get the car home.”