Norwich’s Josh Files finished fourth as action resumed in round two of the AirAsia Renault Clio Cup yesterday at Brands Hatch Indy circuit.
The driver, backed as part of Direct Debit’s Big Break campaign, made a textbook start from pole position to lead 2011 Clio Cup champion, Paul Rivett, into Paddock Hill for the first time whilst opening a brief gap on the three-time champion during the first lap of the race.
Incidents involving no less than seven cars during the process of the first lap halted the charge of Files, leading to the deployment of the safety car before racing could proceed.
A determined Files capitalised on another strong restart to lead Rivett into Paddock Hill as racing resumed but soon came unstuck when Rivett made contact with the rear of his Clio Cup racer at Clearways on the eighth lap.
The 21 year-old quickly recovered but lost out to James Coburn in the proceedings, relegating the Team Pyro driver to fifth position.
Files quickly set about series front-runner Colburn, setting a series of fastest laps in the process as he tried to look for an opening to snatch fourth from his clutches.
Despite being unable to make fourth position his own, a late decision in the closing stages of the race saw Colburn handed a five second penalty for not respecting the track limits of the circuit, bolstering Files points haul and his assault on the 2012 championship.
“I made a very good start off the line and was able to pull a small gap during the first lap of the race,” explained Files.
“Unfortunately the safety car came out after the first lap carnage, and despite being able to make a good restart, Rivett was able to reel me in. This lead to contact at Clearways causing damage to the rear end of my car in the process. We were very lucky to get the car to the end of the race.”
“We’ve still been able to take away a good amount of points from Brands this weekend so we have to be up there in the title hunt."
Round 3 & 4 of the AirAsia Renault Clio Cup will commence in two weeks time at Donington Park.
(Image courtesy of Jakob Ebrey)