Team Pyro’s Josh Files, failed to complete his podium swoop in torrential conditions at Thruxton, after a racing incident with 20 Ten Racing’s Josh Cook, ended the championship front-runner’s hopes of challenging for victory in round six of the AirAsia Renault Clio Cup.
Dismal weather conditions at the Hampshire circuit saw Britain’s premier one-make saloon car championship, start the proceedings from behind the safety car, before retiring to the pits at the end of the third lap.
Files, backed as part of Direct Debit’s Big Break campaign, instantly showed pace on the restart, hot on the heels of Team Pyro pole sitter, Adam Bonham and James Colburn through Allard.
Unable to leapfrog the pairing, Files continued to challenge Colburn for second, making a brave move stick as the pair entered Church for the fourth time.
Files soon began to reel in Bonham but the pairing soon had brief moments due to standing water at Noble, relagating Files back to third position in difficult conditions.
Further complication met the pack of Clio Cup racers on the sixth lap, after the deployment of the safety car, due to an incident involving Rob Smith and Mike Bushell interrupted the race.
The race re-commenced on lap 11 with the front five of the pack immediately beginning to tussle for the lead whilst edging away at the front, with Files eventually losing third position to Jack Goff on the exit of Goodwood.
Files race soon went from bad to worse when 20 Ten Racing’s Josh Cook, made an adventurous move on the Norwichman at Noble due to poor visibility, making contact and causing Files to spin.
The 2011 Rookie of the Year re-joined the race in 16th position, but with only a handful of races left in the race, would only recover to 13th by the chequered flag.
“I found it strange that we started behind the safety car,” explained Files. “I think that it worked to our advantage however.”
“The visibility was very poor, and in all honesty, couldn’t see a thing, but I felt that we were quicker than Rivett and Colburn in front.”
“Jack and I had a good scrap for third and knew that we had the pace to catch the guys in front. Eventually we caught up and everyone was dicing, it was brilliant.”
“On the exit of complex, Josh Cook made an ambitious move up the side, and going into noble contact was made on the rear quarter, which forced me into a spin, luckily I managed to re-join and make up three places.”
“This weekend was full of ups and downs, Saturday was excellent but unfortunately Sunday wasn’t so great.”
“I’m happy for the break, so that I can take a step back and reflect on the season so far. Oulton Park will be tough, the competition is getting harder and harder but hopefully we can keep our fine form in qualifying and race pace, to deliver some more strong results.”
The AirAsia Renault Clio Cup will now take a six week break before the series heads to Oulton Park (9/10 June).
(Image courtesy of Jakob Ebrey Photography)