Josh Files bolstered his points lead further by sealing his tenth podium finish of the season in Round 14 of the 2013 Renault UK Clio Cup at Rockingham Motor Speedway (15 September).
Files, backed by Bacs Payment Schemes Ltd – the people behind Direct Debit in the UK – qualified sixth for Sunday’s UK Clio Cup clash.
Team Pyro erred on the side of caution by keeping him on Dunlop’s treaded tyres for the duration of Saturday's 30-minute qualifying session, held in treacherously greasy conditions.
The Norwich-domiciled racer was demoted to seventh on the initial run to Dene Hairpin but, after a brief Safety Car intervention, took advantage of numerous incidents to climb back up to the podium places.
Files lapped considerably faster than those ahead of him thereafter and had soon dispatched team-mate Ash Hand for second place.
He began closing in on unlikely race leader Ant Whorton-Eales – who surged from 12th to first on the opening lap – reducing the gap by approximately seven tenths of a second per lap.
By the tenth tour of Rockingham's 1.94-mile International Super Sportscar circuit, the 22-year old BRDC Rising Star was within striking distance of the race leader.
Files was clearly faster than the KX Racing with SV driver, but tactfully opted not to risk a move for the win, preserving his championship lead by backing off and cruising to his tenth podium of the season.
“There were cars going off everywhere and people were hitting each other, as usual, but I just kept out of their way and found myself in the podium places,” said a jubilant Files. “The rest of the race was great – really clean and controlled – and I had good pace. It has been a perfect weekend. I took the decision to settle for second. I could have gone for Ant (Whorton-Eales) but I thought I might be able to pressure him into a mistake, but he drove a great race.”
Third and second place results at Rockingham means Files heads into the highly anticipated season finale on the world-famous Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit (13-14 October) with an extended 52-point lead – 40 with the UK Clio Cup’s ‘drop score’ ruling enforced – over chief rival Paul Rivett.
For more information on Josh Files’ racing activities, please visit the official www.joshfiles.co.uk website, 'like' his Facebook page or follow @JoshFiles on Twitter.