Dave Newsham took a dominant win in Round 11 of the 2010 ELF Renault Clio Cup with Michelin to record his ninth victory of the season. Taking the lead on lap one, he never looked back, coping with the tricky conditions well to win by over four seconds.
For the first time this season, it wasn't Newsham who took the Michelin Pole Position in qualifying, with Total Control Racing's James Dixon taking the honour. His team mate Sam Tordoff joined him on the front row, leaving Newsham down in third, alongside another Total Control Racing car of Mike Robinson. Behind, the third row was taken up by James Colburn and Jeff Smith.
As the race began, it was Dixon who made the leap from Pole, leading the field into Riches, followed closely by Newsham, who had managed to get the jump on Tordoff off the line. The quickest starter was Lee Pattison, who by the end of the Revett straight had managed to slip past Robinson into fourth.
At the front though, Dixon, who was competing in his first ever wet race, was unable to keep the experienced Newsham behind for long, with Newsham squeezing past at the Russell Chicane for the lead. Tordoff followed closely in third, with Pattison pushing him hard in fourth.
Behind them, another driver to pull out a great first lap was newcomer to the series Josh Cook. The youngster, driving for Westbourne Motorsport, managed to work his way up from ninth on the grid to fifth in his first ever Clio race. Battling between Pattison and Tordoff ahead allowed Cook to latch on to the front quartet.
At the front, Newsham was beginning to get into his groove and pull away from the chasing back, with Dixon in a solid second and Tordoff and Pattison running nose-to-tail behind. Next up was Robinson, who had managed to sneak past Cook into fifth on lap five. Behind a great battle was emerging for seventh, with a four car train of Jake Packun, Smith, Colburn and another newcomer to the series, JHR Developments Kane Astin, fighting hard.
Back towards the front, after finally being able to shake off the attentions of Pattison, Tordoff began to put his team mate under pressure for second, helped by setting the NGK fastest lap of the race. With Dixon having to defend hard, Pattison was able to latch on to the pair, making it a three car train for second. Dixon continued to soak up the pressure well, clearly getting more confident with the conditions as the race progressed.
At the front though, Newsham had no such problems and crossed the line to take a strong victory as well as the NGK Masters Cup honours. Behind, Dixon hung on well to finish second, along with the Graduate Cup win, with Tordoff just 0.3 seconds behind in third. Pattison finished fourth, while an unforced error by Robinson close to the end dropped him down the field, promoting Cook to a brilliant fifth place on his debut. Packun finished sixth, closely pursued by Smith and Colburn, with Robinson's mistake dropping him to ninth. Behind, local drivers Patrick Collins and Astin finished 10th and 11th respectively on their home circuit.