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Frustration for Byrne on Misano Visit

Motorsport Ireland Young Driver of the Year Jack Byrne endured a frustrating weekend in Misano at the latest rounds of the European Clio Cup Series.

Learning another new track, the Wexford man would be up against it this weekend as a host of interlopers from the Italian Clio Cup series would join the grid making the competition even fiercer.

After trialling a few different setup options on his GPA Racing Clio, Byrne headed into the first qualifying session in determined mood, but suffered a similar fate to Hockenheim in struggling to find clear space to do a lap. Byrne would line up in 25th for the opening race of the weekend and was looking to make progress from the off.

As the lights went out, he duly did just that and began charging through the midpack runners on the opening lap to put himself in 18th place. An early safety car intervention played into his hands and bunched the pack up and on the restart, Byrne charged up through the pack picking off another six cars on the next lap to lie in 12th and he soon began catching up to the battle for 7th but all his hard work was set to be undone as race control issued him with a drive through penalty, dropping him all the way back to 43rd place. Byrne picked his way back up to 32nd place by the end but was left frustrated at the nature of the penalty as a good top ten result was easily on the cards.

Heading into the second qualifying session, the ultra tight nature of the Clio Cup means that a tenth or two of a second can cover four or five rows of the grid. This proved to be the case as while he was a couple of tenths off a top ten time, he would be lining up back in 21st place for the second race on Sunday.

As the race kicked off Byrne was determined to move forward but mindful of the need to salvage some points from a difficult weekend. He did just that and picked his was through the pack to 16th place to score some much needed points for his European Junior campaign. The series travels to Spa Francorchamps on June 1/2 ahead of the final round before the summer break.

Jack Byrne #86 GPA Racing

“Motorsport has always been full of ups and downs and this weekend is definitely one to forget. However, we showed promising pace in race one and if we can get a little bit of luck in qualifying we will be back up the front as we’ve shown we have the pace to run with the front runners. A massive thanks to my team GPA Racing my corporate partners and my supporters and I’m really looking forward to visiting Spa and putting ourselves back at the front end of the grid!”

Jack Byrne is supported by Motorsport Ireland | Sport Ireland | O’Brien Cement | West Wales Rally Spares | David Byrne Auto Repairs | Slaney View Motors | Ignite Training and Consultancy | Staysoft Agency

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