James Dixon Leads The Field In Round Seven (Credit: Jakob Ebrey Photography)
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Dixon And Goff Share Oulton Clio Wins

James Dixon took a lights to flag victory in Round Seven of the 2011 AirAsia Renault Clio Cup UK at Oulton Park, before Jack Goff cruised to his maiden win in the series in Round Eight.

Total Control Racing pair Dixon and Tom Grice lined up on the front row for the weekend's opening race, with Goff and championship leader coming into the meeting, Paul Rivett on row two.

A strong start for Dixon saw him take the lead, while a poor getaway for Grice saw him drop two places, with James Colburn benefitting to leap from fifth into second, ahead of Goff, Grice, Rivett and double winner last time out, Aron Smith.

Rather unlike the conventional Clio Cup race, Round Seven turned into a processional affair, with overtaking at a real minimum. One of the few drivers to make a move was Matt Allison, getting past Adam Bonham for seventh on lap four.

The lack of action left Dixon with a clear run to the line, winning by 0.849s for his third win of the season, taking the Graduate Cup honours in the process. Colburn took his second podium of the season in second, with Goff, Grice, Rivett and Smith rounding out the top six, ahead of Allison and Team Pyro pairing Bonham and Josh Files. Mark Proctor took the Masters honours in fourteenth.  

Dixon said: “I managed to get a brilliant start off the line and unfortunately Tom didn't. After that I knew that it was all about being consistent with my lap times at the front. James made a really good start and in the middle of the race he let me know that he was right on my bumper looking for a win.

“I'm delighted to earn this victory for myself and Total Control Racing and dedicate this to Graham Pearce who sadly passed away recently.”

It was Dixon who lined up on pole again for Sunday's race, which was held in tricky damp conditions. Another solid start saw him lead the opening lap, though Goff was in hot pursuit after a great start saw him move from fourth into second, and the Pyro driver worked his way into the lead at Old Hall on lap two.

Also gaining a place at Old Hall was Smith, the Irishman moving past Colburn for fourth. He then set his sights on Lumison BlueSquare Data / Stancombe Vehicle Engineering's Rivett, who had dropped to third after a poor start.

Smith put former double-champion Rivett under immense pressure, which told on lap seven when Rivett out-braked himself in the slippery conditions at the final corner, dropping him four places. This allowed the quick Smith to go off in pursuit of Dixon, eventually taking second two laps later.

Ahead, Goff was driving into the distance, winning by 5.6s for his first ever Clio Cup win, leading home a Pyro 1-2 with Smith. Dixon held onto third, his fifth podium of the season, with Colburn, Craig Currie and Bonham completing the top six. Rivett ended up seventh, Darren Wilson took the Masters honours in eighth, with Grice and Chris Swanwick rounding out the top ten.

Goff commented: “I'm delighted to win today for myself and Team Pyro. I got a good start like yesterday which enabled me to overtake Paul going into Old Hall. I think that I my tyres came in sooner than James' did which gave me the confidence to overtake him and give myself enough of a gap which took a bit of pressure off. I would like to say a massive thank you to HCL Group and AC Entertainment for helping me for my win.”

For the weekend, championship sponsor AirAsia ran a competition where the championship leader at the end of the meeting, the season's mid-point, received a holiday for four in Kuala Lumpur. However with Rivett and Dixon lying tied at the top of the standings after Round Eight, the prize will roll over to the leader after Croft in two weeks' time.