James Dixon led from start to finish to take victory in Round Four of the 2011 AirAsia Renault Clio Cup UK. The Total Control Racing driver overcame a first lap incident to secure the win, his second of the season.
Dixon made a good start from pole, but as he entered Redgate for the first time, was challenged by fellow front row starter Paul Rivett. Contact between the two dropped Rivett to fifth, with Dixon holding on to his lead.
Benefitting from this was JHR Development's Lee Pattison and Get On Track Development's Jake Packun, the duo moving up to second and third respectively. They instantly got on the back of the leader and began pushing him hard.
As the race progressed, the front two began to break away, with Packun forced to defend from a resurgent Rivett. After a close battle, the Lumison BlueSquare Data/Stancombe Vehicle Engineering finally got his way past on lap ten.
Behind, a great battle was emerging between Scuderia Vittoria pairing Matt Allison and Luke Wright, and Westbourne Motorsport's James Colburn for fifth place. The latter was progressing well during the race and got past Wright on lap five, but was unable to squeeze past former BTCC racer Allison.
Also battling hard was Total Control Racing's Tom Grice and series returnee Aron Smith, running with Team Pyro. The duo were running fifth and sixth early on, but contact between them dropped them to eighth and ninth. They continued to push each other and more contact five laps from the end forced Grice into retirement.
Suffering no such problems at the front was team-mate Dixon, holding back his rivals to take the win and the Graduate Cup honours in the process. Second went to Pattison, who took the Masters Cup honours, with third for Rivett helping him maintain the championship lead. Packun took a strong fourth, ahead of Allison, Colburn and Wright.
Next up were five consecutive Team Pyro cars, with Josh Files being followed home by Adam Bonham, a recovering Smith, Jack Goff and Chris Swanwick. A returning Matthew Munson was thirteenth, ahead of Nicolas Hamilton, the best result of his career so far. Completing the finishers were Mark Proctor and 20Ten Racing's Darren Wilson.
Commenting on the race, Dixon said: “We've had a win at Brands and now at Donington so I'm happy and it more good points. At the start, there was a gap and I went for it but then when I got on the power I understeered and there was contact. I admit it was my mistake but I think it was a racing incident. I need to keep scoring good points to close the gap.”
Championship standings after round two, Donington Park.
1. Rivett 122pts, 2. Dixon 102pts, 3. Packun 75pts, 4. Colburn 72pts, 5. Smith 70pts, 6. Pattison 68pts, 7=Bonham, Allison 62pts, 9. Swanwick 51pts, 10. Goff 46pts.