Paul Rivett scored his first victory of the 2011 AirAsia Renault Clio Cup season today at Brands Hatch, with a strong performance which cements the Lumison BlueSquare Data / Stancombe Vehicle Engineering driver’s place at the top of the championship standings at the end of the first round of the season.
Rivett added to his Saturday third-placed finish with an impressive pole to chequered flag charge where, save for some first lap pressure, he maintained a safe gap from the dicing opposition behind. “I was pushed a bit at Paddock Hill on the first lap, but it was trouble free after that,” said the two-time champion. “I couldn’t believe it when I saw all the guys going off in my mirrors.”
After making a relatively inauspicious start from pole, Rivett had led the pack into Paddock Hill with round one runner-up, Jake Packun fixed tightly to the back of his car. The Bolton-based Get On Track Developments driver kept a watching brief until ignoring his sponsor’s key message, getting off track out of Paddock Hill and out of the race.
This left Team Pyro’s Jack Goff who, started from sixth, to score an impressive second place overall, also winning the Graduate Cup Class in the process. “I was consistent throughout the race and the guys in front fell off,” said the High Wycombe driver. “It was easier said than done to keep the place and I’m pleased with second, It’s not a bad weekend overall.”
Third was Goff’s team-mate Aron Smith, who, like Goff kept it clean and kept away from the trouble further up the pack. “We had problems in the first race which weren’t of our own doing,” said Smith.
“I just tried to stay out of trouble. I needed a podium finish for the points as I knew it was always going to be tough here, as I’ve not done much testing at the circuit. Hopefully we can give Paul a run for his money at the next round.”
James Dixon, winner of the first round, had a weekend of two halves. After making a good start, Dixon was tipped sideways on the opening lap and lost a number of places, narrowly avoiding several cars, and stopping on Hailwood Hill briefly, before re-joining at the back of the pack.
Sunday’s race saw an early safety car period when two of the Total Control Racing team-mates vied for the same piece of Tarmac, with Mark Proctor tipping Nicolas Hamilton into a spin. Proctor retired whilst Hamilton, younger brother of 2008 Formula 1 champion Lewis, recovered the car, and managed to complete the race only 42 seconds behind the leader.
“I enjoyed every minute of it,” said Hamilton of what was his first race weekend and only his seventh time out in the Renault Sport Clio. “I enjoyed that race. I pushed really, really hard, and it was good to get some experience. Thanks everyone for all the support, it’s been massive!”
JHR Development’s Lee Pattison notched up his second win of the weekend in the Masters Cup, with a fifth overall placed finish.
The championship heads to East Midland’s Donington Park for round two on April 16-17, where Rivett will be hopeful of building on his success this weekend. “It’s great to lead the championship after the first rounds and hopefully we can keep it up and set the standard,” said Lynn.
Race Two Results
1: Paul Rivett Lumison BlueSquare Data / Stancombe Vehicle Engineering 21:43.833
2: Jack Goff Team Pyro +2.781
3: Aron Smith Team Pyro +3.622
4: Matt Allinson Scuderia Vittoria +3.989
5: Lee Pattison JHR Developments +6.010
6: Tom Grice Total Control Racing +8.295
7: Chris Swanwick Team Pyro +12.547
8: James Colburn Westbourne Motorsport +12.862
9: Adam Bonham Team Pyro +13.108
10: Luke Wright Scuderia Vittoria +13.557