James Dixon is heading to his home circuit Brands Hatch for the opening rounds of the AirAsia Renault Clio Cup UK on April 2/3 looking for a winning start as he bids to win the 2011 championship. The 21-year-old continued his preparations for the season at the recent official series test at Rockingham.

A strong debut season in 2010 has seen the Kent driver enter the year as one of the favourite for the championship. Last year saw him finish sixth in the standings despite missing four of the races, picking up two wins in the final two races of the season at Brands Hatch, as well as three pole positions, three other podium finishes and three fastest laps.

James is hoping to follow in the footsteps of Tom Onslow-Cole and Jonny Adam and win the Clio Cup title for Total Control Racing. He commented: “Ideally, I want to start where we left off last season with pole position and a couple of wins but having consistency will be really important too if we're to try and take the championship. That's the sole aim though as I want to make the step into touring cars in 2012 and follow the path taken by Tom and Jonny. We need that success to help attract extra sponsorship.”

Dixon enjoyed a strong day's running at Rockingham during the Renault Clio Cup's Media Day, ending the day second fastest with a best time of 1m 30.033s, only beaten by series newcomer Adam Bonham.

He added: “I'm fairly happy with the way everything went at Rockingham. Testing has gone well since January to be honest and we've been at the sharp end throughout – the car has been fantastic. It's all about qualifying for me this year, I need to be on the front row for each race if I can to fight for as many wins as possible. I'm staying chilled out though, the best approach is to relax and remain calm.

“TCR is a fantastic team and we've got a great chance of success this year. We know it'll be as tough as ever though, Clio Cup is always so competitive. It's also likely there will be more media attention than ever with Nicolas (Hamilton) being one of my team-mates this year. It should be a fantastic season, I can't wait to get started.”

James heads into the season with backing from Weidmuller, ABP Heating and The Art of Decorating Ltd, but is still looking for additional sponsorship to ensure he can complete the year.