Norwich’s Josh Files made a strong start to his 2012 AirAsia Renault Clio Cup campaign by claiming second position in the season opener at Brands Hatch Indy circuit.
The driver, backed as part of Direct Debit’s Big Break campaign, got away well off the line from pole position to lead 2011 champion, Paul Rivett into Paddock Hill for the first time, before an error at Graham Hill saw the 21 year-old drop to fourth position behind the leading trio of Rivett, Jack Goff and James Colburn.
A determined Files soon set about Colburn in third, making the perfect move at Clearways to pass the series front-runner, whilst also setting the fastest lap of the race in the process. Files consistently showed that he was the fastest car on track by repeating the feat for the following two laps of the race, reeling in Rivett and Goff at the front of the 25-car field.
Despite being a consistent pacesetter throughout the race, Files was unable to progress past Team Pyro teammate Goff, but a late technical issue with Rivett would promote Files to second.
“It was a very interesting race for me,” explained Files. “I made a good start and held first into Druids but a mistake at Graham Hill caused me to go sideways and drop to fourth.”
“I managed to recover very well and within a lap I got Colburn at Clearways and showed consistent pace whilst catching Goff and Rivett. I was hoping that I could maintain my pace and pass both of them but unfortunately it just wasn’t meant to be.”
“I made a great start today and I’ll make a good start tomorrow. We came to Brands Hatch hoping for two wins, I lost out on one win today so I certainly intend to get a win tomorrow.”
Round two of the AirAsia Renault Clio Cup will get under way tomorrow, Sunday, 1st April, at 15:00 and will be aired live on ITV4 and ITV4 HD.