RAPID FILES COMFORTABLY FASTEST IN PRE-EVENT DONINGTON TEST
Team Pyro’s Josh Files (Norwich) fired a stark warning shot to his Renault UK Clio Cup rivals during officially timed testing at Donington Park today, Thursday, 18th April, by lapping fastest in both sessions and ending the day 0.3 seconds clear at the top of the combined times.
Although not making the start to the season he wanted at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit almost three weeks ago, claiming a best finish of fourth place in round two, the 22-year-old proved today he is an undoubted challenger for race victories during rounds three and four this weekend, 20th/21st April.
Posting a best of 1m18.387 seconds (90.89mph) in the opening 40-minute session, a remarkable 0.8 seconds clear of team-mate Alex Morgan (Reading), Files lapped in 1m18.717 seconds (90.50mph) during the afternoon to just edge PER HIRE/Stancombe Vehicle Engineering’s Paul Rivett (Banstead) by a single thousandth of a second. In being fastest of all, Files also led the way in the Graduate Cup.
“This morning we had a good set-up straight away and found the time out the back through the quick stuff which is always nice”, said Files, “As we’ve got a good base set-up, we decided to make quite a dramatic change for the second session but, to be honest, it was a bad change. Even though we were still quickest, it was hard work to drag a time out of the car this morning it was easy.
“The season starts now really for us. We got solid points at Brands but it wasn’t good enough, we made a couple of little cock-ups with the set-up there, especially in the first race, but in the second race the car was mint. This weekend at Donington should be good, if I can put my performance from today into qualifying I’ll be happy.”
Three-time champion Rivett’s afternoon best of 1m18.718 seconds (90.50mph) placed him second on the combined timesheets and the next five competitors also improved between sessions. Mike Bushell (Tunbridge Wells) continued his strong start to the year with the third quickest time overall, 0.3 seconds shy of Rivett, with Westbourne Motorsport team-mate Jordan Stilp (Potterspury) fourth.
Category rookie Stilp was impressive all day and managed to shade KX Racing with Scuderia Vittoria driver Stefan Hodgetts (Redditch) by 0.046 seconds. Current championship leader, and round one winner, James Colburn (Worthing) completed the top six while fellow Brands Hatch race victor Morgan was eighth behind JHR Developments’ Josh Cook (Bristol).
Renault UK Clio Cup returnee Lee Pattison (Liversedge) ended the test heading the Masters Cup class in 17th overall, although the 2010 Vice-Champion will almost certainly be higher up the order when the all-important qualifying session takes place at 11.20 on Saturday, 20th April.
The first of the weekend’s races, round three, will get underway at 17.05 on Saturday afternoon with round four, which will be screened live on ITV4, in High Definition on ITV4 HD and streamed online at the www.itv.com/btcc website, following on Sunday, 21st April.
Renault UK Clio Cup is sponsored by www.buyoils.co.uk with support from ELF, NGK Spark Plugs, WP Racing and official tyre supplier Dunlop.
Provisional 2013 Renault UK Clio Cup Driver Standings (after Rd2):
1st James Colburn, 57pts; 2nd Alex Morgan, 54pts; 3rd Paul Rivett, 48pts
Provisional 2013 Renault UK Clio Cup WP Racing Clio Cup Team Trophy Standings (after Rd2):
1st Westbourne Motorsport, 94pts; 2nd Team Pyro, 87pts; 3rd Scuderia Vittoria, 62pts
Provisional 2013 Renault UK Clio Cup ‘Graduate Cup’ Standings (after Rd2):
1st James Colburn, 64pts; 2nd Ant Whorton-Eales, 50pts; =3rd Josh Files & Jake Giddings, 42pts
Provisional 2013 Renault UK Clio Cup ‘Masters Cup’ Standings (after Rd2):
1st Finlay Crocker, 64pts; 2nd Graham Field, 53pts; 3rd Simon Belcher, 28pts
Note to editors:
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