ASHBOURNE racer Sam Randon launched his 2014 Clio Cup season at Rockingham Motor Speedway near Corby last week, with success both on and off the track during the official Renaultsport press day.
The day provided much-needed track time for the youngster, who is limited by budget as he tries to make his way in the high profile race car class, and crucially provided the first opportunity to invite guests and potential sponsors to see the car in action and experience the hospitality experience, which Randon and his team are hoping will garner more income.
“It was a very busy day” said the 19-year-old JCB apprentice.
“In between the official interviews and press responsibilities, we had a dozen or so guests to entertain and show what we can offer during a typical race weekend.
“Then suddenly I have to put my helmet on and focus on my driving again.
“It was hard work – but great fun.”
On track, Randon continued to impress, posting competitive lap times on his worn tyres until, for the first time in this car, the team put on new rubber to simulate a qualifying session.
Father Neil explained “We just can’t afford to buy new tyres for testing so this was the first and only time he will experience new rubber before the season starts in April.
“Qualifying on new tyres will be crucial for grid position and the car behaves quite differently for the first few laps.
“It’s important Sam understands how the bring the tyres on and when to attack for a quick lap time.
“But it’s a new skill to learn and his relative pace to other drivers did drop a little – he just needs more time on new tyres.”
Funding has been a constant challenge at this level for the young charger, but following a marketing offensive in recent weeks including radio appearances, the much-needed sponsorship support has started to grow.
Joining existing sponsors Airglide and Twincentric Integration, Nottingham-based pawnbroker franchise Ca$hbrokers have recently agreed to support Randon, along with Derby automotive customisation specialists Evolve Automotive.
Welcoming the new partners at Rockingham, Randon said: “I’m so pleased that Cashbrokers and Evolve have partnered with us, their support is crucial to me being able to compete at this level.
“They are all such nice people, it is developing a real family atmosphere in the garage and we are hoping to make further announcements very soon.”
Airglide director Robert Sandham said: “Partnering with Sam is not just about philanthropy, it is a business partnership with a network of high profile contacts not to be missed.
“I’m glad to be associated with the team and would recommend any business large or small to come and join the adventure.”
Randon’s first race weekend is April 5 and 6, back at Rockingham.
More information can be found at www.SamRandonRacing.com.