WDE Motorsport’s Rivett, starting second alongside Team Pyro’s Burns on the grid, led the opening exchanges. But on lap four came the race’s first big moment as Pyro’s Coates, lying fifth, span out of the race at Becketts corner after contact from within the pack…
On lap six there was more significant change at the front as, after a three-abreast-into-Brooklands moment, Burns moved into the lead as Rivett dropped to fourth behind Matrix Motorsport’s Michael Epps and WDE team-mate Dan Zelos.
Four laps later it changed again as Rivett suddenly appeared back in second ahead Westbourne Motorsport’s James Dorlin, MRM’s Jack Young, DRM’s Daniel Rowbottom and WDE’s Lee Pattison as Epps and Zelos tumbled to seventh and eighth.
On lap 14 the Volcanic Orange Renault Sport Mégane Safety Car was required after Jade Edwards’s MRM car was left stricken at the side of the track after heavy contact with the barriers between the Copse and Becketts corners.
When racing resumed at full speed there were just two laps to go but, despite pressure from Rivett, Burns held on for his first Clio Cup race win. At 17 years, one month and 14 days old he becomes the youngest winner of a UK Clio Cup race…
Second place for Rivett was more than enough to move him back to the top of the standings while third in the end was Rowbottom – up from 16th on the grid with a remarkable drive.
Burns, a protégé of the BMR British Touring Car team, commented: “That was a mega race. I didn’t get the best start so put everything into regaining the lead. When I got there I knew we had good pace so just had to keep it consistent. Thanks to Team Pyro for a brilliant car.”
Rivett, now with a 16-point championship lead, said: “Obviously this is huge for the championship, but it’s still quite a small gap when you consider there are 25 points for a win and there are still three races to go…”
Rowbottom added: “I just gave it everything – I had to after our problems in qualifying. Third place is a great result considering but if only we’d been starting on the first few rows…”
Next up in fourth heading a five car train over the line was Dorlin as Epps took fifth, 16-year-old Young a career best sixth, Pattison seventh and Zelos eighth. MRM’s Brett Lidsey, who took two bonus points for setting the race’s fastest lap, and Specialized Racing’s Nick Reeve, another of the Clio Cup’s latest 16-year-old finds, completed the top ten.
The result means that only the top four drivers in the table – Rivett, Coates, Dorlin and Rowbottom – can now become Champion in 2018. Eliminated from the equation in today’s race were Burns, Epps, Pyro’s Jack McCarthy who finished it in 12th, and Pattison.