The Norwich-domiciled Josh Files drove an immaculate race to win Round 12 of the 2013 Renault UK Clio Cup on home soil at Snetterton (4 August).
Files, backed by Bacs Payment Schemes Ltd – the people behind Direct Debit in the UK – retained the championship initiative by the slenderest of margins after Snetterton’s opening UK Clio Cup encounter on Saturday (3 August).
The 22-year old followed chief title rival Paul Rivett home in second place to hold a diminished one-point lead over the multiple Clio Cup Champion, but was determined to rebuild his advantage by taking a lights-to-flag victory in Round 12 on Sunday.
Files got a superb launch from pole position and had gapped the rest of the field by more than four seconds by the end of lap two. With KX Racing with Scuderia Vittoria’s Stefan Hodgetts and Rivett keeping each other busy in the battle for second place, the Team Pyro contender drove a flawless race to achieve his second career UK Clio Cup victory and his seventh Graduate Cup win of the season.
In a dramatic twist, Rivett lost yet more ground in the latter stages, falling to fourth place after making a rare mistake. The result means Files extended his lead the Drivers’ standings to 13 points as Britain's premier one-make saloon car championship heads into another five-week break.
“I can’t believe Rivett let it go on the final lap,” said Files. To win with my chief title rival fourth is a massive bonus for me. My points lead diminished yesterday and I’ve now re-extended it.
“It was harder than it looked, that’s for sure. I got a good enough start this time to get into Montreal hairpin first – the start was crucial, but we had a new clutch today and they’re notoriously difficult to get off the line.”
Files added: “There was a tussle for second and that helped me pull out a two second lead on the opening lap, I was soon four seconds ahead and I just never looked back. At that point I just maintained the gap and cruised to the end.
“I’m absolutely ecstatic and it’s made all the more sweet by the fact that it’s on my home track, in front of local fans and under blazing sunshine. The car looks awesome with its Bacs Payment Schemes livery and Team Pyro has done a great job too.”
Rockingham Motor Speedway hosts Rounds 13 and 14 of the 2013 Renault UK Clio Cup in five weeks’ time (13-14 September).
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.