British Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC) Rising Star Josh Files (Norwich) confirmed his status as one of the UK’s very best saloon car racers at Motorland Aragon in Spain over the weekend, 2nd/3rd November, after adding the prestigious Eurocup Clio title to his 2013 Renault UK Clio Cup crown.
Going into the final event of the European season with an 11 point lead in the standings, the Team Pyro driver put the championship beyond reach in the first encounter on Saturday after taking his fourth win of the campaign to become the first ever driver to claim UK and European titles.
Securing a double pole position in qualifying, Files put himself squarely in the box seat and although slipping behind Denmark’s Thomas Fjordbach at the start of race one, the Briton hit back on the second tour before calmly pulling away to his third straight victory. Notably, the title success makes Files the youngest ever driver – and first Briton – to win the blue riband pan-European category.
“It feels like a dream”, said the 22-year-old, “My start wasn’t great, but I managed to retake the lead and build a gap as the race went on. Thomas [Fjordbach] made a mistake and I took advantage. I knew that if I could win, I’d have a chance of taking the title. Things couldn’t have turned out any better. It’s perfect!”
In the final race of the Eurocup season on Sunday, Files made it nine podiums for the campaign from 12 rounds with third position – just beaten to second place on the line by Fjordbach to the tune of only 0.030 seconds. The result was still enough, though, to secure the Eurocup Clio team title for Barwell-based Team Pyro.
By winning the Eurocup Clio drivers’ crown at his first attempt, in the debut season for the brand new fourth generation 1.6-litre turbo-powered car, Files has put the icing on the cake of a truly remarkable year for both himself and the Mark Hunt-led Pyro squad.
Adapting his driving brilliantly between his dovetailed campaigns in Eurocup and the Renault UK Clio Cup, where he became the final champion of the third generation Clio era with the 2.0-litre engined normally aspirated car, Files also won the Graduate Cup class title in the UK and helped Pyro retain the WP Racing Clio Cup Team Trophy in the British championship.
“On behalf of Renault UK and the BARC [British Automobile Racing Club] I’d like to say many, many congratulations to Josh and everyone at Team Pyro for a truly outstanding result in the Eurocup Clio series”, said Renault UK Clio Cup championship manager Simon North.
“To win the UK title was a fantastic achievement, to add Eurocup success in the same year is both incredible and history-making. It’s obviously testament to the quality of competition in the Renault UK Clio Cup – we produce drivers and teams capable of taking on, and beating, the best in Europe.”
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.