Double Clio Cup champion Paul Rivett dominated from lights to flag to take victory in Round 18 of the 2010 Elf Renault Clio Cup with Michelin around the new Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit. The 2002 and 2004 champion, driving for BlueSquare Data/Stancombe Vehicle Engineering, controlled the race in front of a massive crowd at the World Series by Renault meeting to take his second victory of the season.
Rivett started on pole, with 2010 champion Dave Newsham alongside him. James Colburn and James Dixon lined up on row two, though it should have been series returnee Stefan Hodgetts in fourth. The experienced Clio star, returning to the series for the first time since winning both races at the corresponding meeting last year, qualified fourth fastest, but was forced to start at the back of the grid, with a 10 second penalty, after breaking the rules by changing his rear tyres during qualifying.
A perfect getaway for Rivett saw him lead the field into Copse for the first time, with Newsham slotting into second, with Dixon sliding past Colburn at Club Chicane on the opening lap for third. Behind, Lee Pattison was also gaining places, moving past Total Control Racing's Mike Robinson for sixth.
The front two began to break away from the field behind. Dixon maintained third, with Team Pyro's Jack Goff and Total Control Racing's Sam Tordoff starting to battle hard for fourth. Tordoff eventually got the upper hand, before setting about chasing down team mate Dixon. Goff was soon being put under pressure by Pattison, who had moved up another place to fifth.
A man on the move was Hodgetts, who had moved up from the back of the field to 11th. His rise up the order was soon to be cut short though, with contact at Vale with APO Sport's Alex Osborne forcing both into retirement, with Osborne later handed four penalty points for causing the incident.
At the front, Rivett was streaking away, coming home to take the win, his second of the season at Silverstone, with his previous victory this season coming on the National circuit back in August. Behind, there was to be heartache for Newsham, a puncture robbing him of second place, dropping him right down the order. This promoted Dixon into second and Tordoff into third, capping off a strong weekend for their Total Control Racing team, with Dixon also taking the Graduate Cup honours, while Tordoff was awarded the ELF/Atol Driver of the Meeting award. JHR Development's Pattison finished fourth, taking the Masters Cup honours, with Goff and Colburn rounding out the top six. Next up was Robinson, ahead of Team Pyro pair Jake Packun and Jeff Smith, with Meridian Motorsport's Rob Gaffney completing the top ten, passing Patrick Collins on the final lap after a race-long battle. Newsham eventually came home in 14th place, his worst result of an otherwise flawless season.
Next up for the Clio Cup stars is it's season finale at Brands Hatch on 9th/10th October.
2010 ELF Renault Clio Cup with Michelin provisional drivers' standings – round 18
|1st||Dave Newsham||GBR||Team Pyro||529 pts|
|2nd||Lee Pattison||GBR||JHR Developments||425 pts|
|3rd||Sam Tordoff||GBR||Total Control Racing||382 pts|
|4th||James Colburn||GBR||Westbourne Motorsport||317 pts|
|5th||Mike Robinson||GBR||Total Control Racing||306 pts|
|6th||Jake Packun||GBR||Team Pyro/Autosave||241 pts|
Photo credits: Jakob Ebrey Photography