Rivett believes the 57-point gap to Whorton-Eales after just four rounds does not reflect his and his WDE Motorsport team’s real level performance as the title race heads to Thruxton, the fastest track on the calendar.
“It’s true, we’ve not had the best starts but there are still 14 races to go and that’s a long way – it’s very catchable but I could do with two strong results at Thruxton,” admitted Rivett.
“I was right behind Ash Hand who was leading into the first bend at Brands Hatch but he was slow through which slowed me up and I lost more places. Then there was an incident with another driver which put me off the track and I ended up sixth when I feel I could have taken the fight to the top three.
“At Donington in the first race I had that coming-together with Ash – just a racing incident – and ended up crawling over the line with a damaged car in last with just a few points. In the other two races, though, you look at our pace. For a while we were the fastest car on the track.”
Rivett has been racing in Clio Cup since 2001 and knows probably every trick possible around Thruxton – the most fearsome track in Britain. His car will appear sporting enhanced sponsorship from online ‘cloud services’ company Cube 52 which has chosen to significantly increase its support of the three-time champion.
“Qualifying at Thruxton will be all about your team-mate being able to give you a tow. It can make a massive difference to your best lap time,” explained Rivett. “Even if you don’t qualify that well it is still possible to do very well as it’s the easiest of all the circuits to overtake on.
“But it will be absolutely crucial not to let the lead pack get away. If they do you’re going to struggle to catch them.
“In both races it will be the mid-race phase that will be telling factor, when the tyres really start to feel the punishment they take around there with the extra speed and loads. That can still come into play in the closing laps but I’d rather be in that leading bunch to make capitalising easier.”
In 2014 Rivett was tasked with managing the WDE squad which sapped him of the time required to concentrate fully on his racing but all that has changed for this season.
“Wayne (Eason, team principal) and I have totally turned the team around – it is a different set-up compared to 12 months ago. It is functioning really well and I’ve got time on my hands again which you need as a top driver at this level,” he added.
Finally Rivett says he’s been impressed by newcomer Ashley Sutton’s approach and pace in his opening two Clio Cup events.
“For me he’s been the star so far – I can count with the fingers on one hand the number of drivers who’ve come into the Clio Cup and been that good straight away,” said Rivett. “That’s taking nothing away from Ant (Whorton-Eales) – he’s doing a stellar job but it’s his third season so you’d expect him to be delivering the goods. Sutton really doesn’t have any front-wheel-drive experience and is getting on with it very well.”