Team Pyro’s Josh Files (Norwich) delivered a thoroughly dominant performance in Renault UK Clio Cup qualifying at Croft this morning, Saturday, 22nd June, to lock-out pole position for rounds nine and 10 of the season.
As the only driver to lap under the 1m34 second barrier, Files posted a quickest time of 1m33.896 seconds (81.47mph) to secure the top spot on the grid for this afternoon’s 12-lap encounter and with a similarly impressive effort of 1m33.979 seconds also secured pole for round 10.
“We set-up the car really well and I just felt comfortable out there”, said Files, “I’ve felt comfortable here all weekend apart from a little scuff in free practice one on Friday, I love this track so much. It’s a hard circuit where you’ve got a lot of balls-out corners around the back and then the technical bit at the end, it’s hard to get both sorted out – I like both though, that’s one of my strengths here.”
Aside from Files’ highly impressive showing, Westbourne Motorsport’s first year Renault UK Clio Cup racer Jordan Stilp (Potterspury) starred to secure a front row start alongside Files for round nine with a lap of 1m34.129 seconds (81.27mph). Stilp then went on to claim fifth on the grid for round 10.
Delivering, by far, the most competitive run of his maiden year in front-wheel drive, Stilp edged out KX Racing with Scuderia Vittoria’s Stefan Hodgetts (Redditch) by a mere 0.046 seconds while series leader Paul Rivett (Banstead) will line-up fourth on the grid for the first race, lapping just 0.051 seconds shy of Hodgetts’ pace.
“I’ve tried my hardest this weekend so far”, said Stilp, “We made quite a lot of changes between yesterday’s testing and this morning’s qualifying and it’s obviously made a huge difference to the car and towards my confidence with the car. Hopefully it’ll pan out for the rest of the weekend for us.
“You have to kind of screw on a different head at different times here, you have to be patient for places like the hairpin but then when you’re going through the back into Sunny In and Sunny Out, you just have to nail it. It’s a great circuit and I’m glad I’m at the front for once!”
Westbourne’s James Colburn (Worthing) will share the third row of the grid for round nine with JHR Developments’ Josh Cook (Bristol), KX Racing’s Ant Whorton-Eales (Lichfield) will start in seventh place, Pyro’s Ash Hand (Nuneaton) qualified an excellent eighth ahead of team-mate Alex Morgan (Reading) with lead Masters Cup contender Lee Pattison (Liversedge) rounding out the top 10.
For round 10 on Sunday, 23rd June, Files will be joined on the front-row by Hodgetts with Rivett and Colburn on row two, Stilp and Whorton-Eales fifth and sixth on the grid, Cook and Morgan will line-up on row four while Pattison and Hand will comprise row five.
Round nine of the Renault UK Clio Cup season will get underway at 16.15 this afternoon, Saturday, 22nd June, with round 10 following tomorrow at 15.50 – the second of the weekend’s two races will be screened live on ITV4, ITV4 HD and with live streaming at www.itv.com/btcc
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 Rd8):
1st Paul Rivett, 207pts; 2nd Alex Morgan, 185pts; 3rd Josh Files, 176pts
Provisional 2013 Renault UK Clio Cup WP Racing Clio Cup Team Trophy Standings (after Rd8):
1st Team Pyro, 359pts; 2nd Westbourne Motorsport, 272pts; 3rd Scuderia Vittoria, 267pts
Provisional 2013 Renault UK Clio Cup ‘Graduate Cup’ Standings (after Rd8):
1st Josh Files, 213pts; 2nd James Colburn, 203pts; 3rd Jake Giddings, 179pts
Provisional 2013 Renault UK Clio Cup ‘Masters Cup’ Standings (after Rd8):
1st Simon Belcher, 204pts; 2nd Graham Field, 191pts; 3rd Finlay Crocker, 139pts