Norwich resident Josh Files retains the championship initiative having taken points for a sublime second place and the fastest lap in Round 11 of the Renault UK Clio Cup on home turf at Snetterton (3 August).
Files arrived at the Snetterton circuit with a slender three-point lead over title rival Paul Rivett in the overall Drivers’ standings and has the sole aim of preserving that advantage this weekend.
The 22-year old had a productive day of testing in changeable conditions on Friday. His pace was solid throughout and he found an extra gear in Saturday’s qualifying session to seal pole position for both races on the 2.99-mile Snetterton 300 circuit.
Files, backed by Bacs Payments Schemes Ltd – the people behind Direct Debit in the UK – had a relatively slow start and was deposed by Rivett and the fast-starting Ant Whorton-Eales through the opening few turns.
The Norwich-domiciled racer almost immediately clawed back second place from Whorton-Eales, determined to close the gap on chief title rival Rivett for the lead.
Despite a valiant effort, Files was unable to bridge the gap to Rivett and with rain clouds looming over the circuit, settled for the runners up spot.
However, a crucial point for fastest lap – 2m10.437s – ensures Files remains atop the UK Clio Cup championship table by a single point with one race left to run at Snetterton tomorrow (Sunday 4 August).
“Paul (Rivett) and I had a conversation before the race, agreeing that we should pull away from the chasing pack so we weren’t caught up in any carnage,” said Files. “He got a great start and just pulled away during the opening laps.
“To be honest, after four laps he had developed such a big gap that I decided to settle for second. A podium is always better than throwing the car off the track. Then I saw the dark clouds coming and I thought I had better gun it to get across the finish before the rain arrives. We made it just in time!
He continued: “It was important to get the fastest lap, because that keeps me at the head of the standings by one point, but tomorrow is a different story. I need to get a better start and hopefully the result will be better too.”
Round 12 of the Renault UK Clio Cup is scheduled to take place tomorrow morning (Sunday 4 August) from 11.10.
For more information on Josh Files’ racing activities, please visit the official www.joshfiles.co.ukwebsite, 'like' his Facebook page or follow @JoshFiles on Twitter.