The three-time champion Paul Rivett (Banstead) took to the top step of the podium for the third time this season to claim victory in round nine of the AirAsia Renault UK Clio Cup at a sunny Snetterton circuit.
Having occupied the second spot on the grid as the cars lined in formation, Rivett got off the line well and applied the pressure on rival Jack Goff (High Wycombe) into turns one and two, before passing into turn three. Having snatched first place, the PER HIRE/Stancombe Vehicle Engineering driver would hold position from a constantly pressuring field to take home the top honours.
‘It was a great race. Absolutely brilliant,’ expressed Rivett. ‘I got just a slightly better start than Jack (Goff), maybe half a cars length down into turn one and then took a deep breath at turn two and made it stick round the outside on the exit. There was no looking back from then on. Once they started fighting behind me that put a big smile on my face as I could then take it easy and make sure I concentrate and bring the car home in one piece.‘
‘It’s really nice to be back on top of the podium with three wins now this year, hopefully one more this weekend and many more after that to come.’
It was a first podium of the season for Scuderia Vittoria’s 22-year old James Dixon (Maidstone), who managed to avoid the action ahead, using it to his advantage and bringing home the car in second place to the rapturous applause of his team.
‘We weren’t brilliant off the line,’ said Dixon. ‘It was only because there was a bit of carnage up ahead that we were able to get second place. For me it’s really good points for the championship having been fourth heading into this round, hopefully we’ve caught Adam Bonham up in the championship.’
‘To get good points is all I’m really concerned about and it’s nice to be back on the podium because it’s been quite a few months.’
Rounding off the podium was Oulton Park’s rounds seven and eight double winner Stefan Hodgetts (Redditch). Having been involved with a tussle for position with Goff, the KX Academy sponsored driver fought well and brought the car home to secure 25 valuable points, as well as the extra 2 points for the fastest lap set mid-way through the race.
‘We started sixth and finished third so that’s quite a decent result, especially in the difficult Clio Cup championship. We’re very pleased with today’s results,’ said Hodgetts.
‘There is always some sort of carnage going on up ahead no matter where you are on the grid but then that’s Clio racing. The racing is extremely tight.’
‘I start third tomorrow with a good car, so a good start and quick race pace and we should do really well.’
Elsewhere, it was a first lap retirement for Rookie pole sitter Ant Whorton-Eales (Lichfield), who although got a lightening start straight off the line, collided with the barrier causing damage to his suspension and his hopes of winning the Rookie Trophy.
Those honours went to now Rookie Trophy championship leader Josh Cook (Bath), who also managed to use the incidents ahead to his advantage and finish in a strong sixth position, securing 18 points for him and the 20Ten Racing team.
‘I got off to an alright start, kept out of trouble until the third lap where I had a bit of contact with Aaron Williamson (Holbeach) coming out of the second corner, but I managed to hold on,’ said Cook. ‘I’m quite happy with sixth and taking the Rookie championship lead. As for tomorrow, we will have to see how it goes.’
Having only taken to the track in a Clio for the first time earlier today in qualifying, David Grady (Leicester) progressed through the grid well to finish inside the top ten in a strong ninth place.
‘To finish in the top ten in a car I only stepped in this morning is really pleasing, said a delighted Grady. ‘The car was good, and coming in towards the end of the race I was gaining more confidence so I was able to push a bit more. So to finish in the top ten of a 25-car grid is outstanding for me.’
As for the ELF Masters Trophy, those honours went to Handy Motorsport with Pyro’s Simon Belcher (Swindon), who led the fellow Masters off the grid in 19th managing to stick to his earlier aims of staying out of trouble and bringing the car home in 13th place to take to the podium extending his lead of the ELF Masters Trophy championship.
‘Having started in 19th on the grid, I knew I had a lot of work to do and I thought there would be some hectic action in the mid-pack on the first lap, so I played it safe and things started panning out. At the end of the day we came home with a reasonable 13th. Winning the Masters is nice, pulling out a nice little lead in that, but I want to try and be higher and keep trying to improve making less and less little mistakes. Overall, I’m really enjoying it.’
Tomorrow’s grid sees a re-run of todays with Jack Goff on pole with Paul Rivett lining up alongside in second who will no doubt be keen to take the top spot again. Tune in live on ITV4 for all the action from Round 10 of the AirAsia Renault UK Clio Cup taking to the Norfolk circuit Sunday at 13.45 12th August.
Round 9 Classification
1. Paul RIVETT PER HIRE/SVE Laps 10 21:52.544
2. James DIXON Total Control Racing +2.033
3. Stefan HODGETTS Scuderia Vittoria +4.869
4. Jack GOFF Team Pyro +5.494
5. Josh FILES Team Pyro +6.040
6. Josh COOK 20Ten Racing +9.402
7. Mike BUSHELL MBR +10.635
8. James COLBURN Westbourne Motorsport +10.896
9. David GRADY Team HARD +11.185
10. Vic COVEY Scuderia Vittoria +14.527
A full set of timing results and championship standings can be found here: www.tsl-timing.com
For further information please visit: http://www.renaultsport.co.uk/championships/cliocup/Default.aspx
Press images of the Renault Clio Cup UK can be downloaded from: www.jakobebrey.com/renault