05/05/2016

Championship leader Rivett loves “that floaty feeling” that only Thruxton can bring

Three-time Champion Paul Rivett says 2016 has produced arguably the best start to a season in the Renault UK Clio Cup he’s ever had as he heads to Thruxton this weekend aiming to defend his championship lead.
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The 2002, 2004 and 2011 title-winner moved to the top of the standings with a victory (his 100th UK Clio Cup podium) at Donington last month and has now landed a big new sponsor in 4Front Motor Group to help him in his pursuit of a fourth title – cue a fresh-looking livery on his car this weekend.

The 37-year-old WDE Motorsport ace goes into Thruxton’s two races 13 points clear of the rest and says he is confident he can come away from the event still in front.

“This has to rank as one my strongest starts to a season,” said Rivett. “OK, we are only four races into an 18-race calendar – there is a long way to go – but we’ve been strong every time out and are the only team-driver to have been on the podium in every race so far. The goal has to be to continue that form at Thruxton…

“Some people prefer to be a bit behind and try putting pressure on the leader but, for me, it’s the other way around – I’d much rather be leading and have the points in the bag.

“I’m not saying there’s a comfort margin as such but when you are in the lead your confidence is up that bit more. And I’m confident we’ll be going home on Sunday night still leading.”

Rivett believes Team Cooksport’s Lee Pattison and Team Pyro’s Mike Bushell could be the two big threats at Thruxton. Pattison had led the standings going into Donington’s second race but then it all went wrong in a clash with Rivett’s young team-mate Charlie Ladell – as a result he has slipped to third in the standings. Bushell, the 2014 Champion, has yet to win a race in 2016.

“I’m expecting Pattison to be very strong,” continued Rivett. “His track record around Thruxton speaks for itself. I’m guessing he’s found a particular line on one section of the circuit which just works.

“Bushell looked very good in pre-season testing at Thruxton and was fastest in the official test there as well.

“On saying that we didn’t try too hard in that test because of the changing weather and I’m sure we will be able to turn it on when it matters.

“Above all Thruxton rewards the brave and fearless. You have to be comfortable with the car moving about on the wheel rims at 100mph. It’s that floaty feeling which I love.”