Team Pyro’s Josh Files achieved a brace of second places at Donington Park, after the race win was snatched from his grasp on the run to the chequered flag in Sunday’s (21^st April) Renault UK Clio Cup clash.
From the front row of the grid, the Vocalink-backed driver emerged from the traditional first corner skirmish in third place with race one winner Paul Rivett holding the initiative.
A clean pass – a rare sight in what developed into a race of attrition – on Scuderia Vittoria’s Ant Whorton-Eales under braking for the final chicane gifted him second place and just left him with the task of chasing down and passing the race leader, multiple Clio Cup Champion Rivett.
The Norwich-based racer was soon on terms with Rivett and performed a carbon copy of the move he pulled on Whorton-Eales at the chicane to take the initiative.
Files, 22, held off the competition while chaos ensued behind him, until the final lap when a snap of oversteer at the Old Hairpin allowed a resurgent Rivett to pull alongside him out of Coppice corner and onto the following straight.
The fight continued through the final chicane; holding the tighter line into the corner, Rivett was slightly compromised and Files, determined to recover first place, used a better exit to produce a stunning photo-finish, but ultimately lost out on the victory by a mere 0.013s.
“It’s so disappointing to miss out on the win by such a small margin because I was leading quite comfortably until the final lap,” said Files. “I suffered with oversteer throughout the race and the car got away from me slightly out of the Old Hairpin on the last lap, which allowed Rivett to shoot up behind me."
“I had to defend as much as possible but he got the undercut at Coppice – that’s how I took the lead from him so he just got me back really. If the finish line was a bit further along the pit straight I would have had him, but we go to Thruxton now and that’s one of my favourites so I'm confident of strong results there.”