James Dixon endured a frustrating weekend in the AirAsia Renault Clio Cup UK at Croft. A battling fifth place in Round Nine moved the Stockbury-based driver to the top of the championship standings, but retirement in Round Ten sees him slip to third in the points.
Qualifying didn't go to plan for the Total Control Racing driver, when rain came down early on in the session, meaning only the drivers second or third laps were going to be there best. With James missing the optimum tyre window, he had to settle for twelfth and eleventh on the grid for the two races.
A great opening lap at the beginning of the weekend's first race saw 21 year old Dixon up to seventh place, but the race to be red flagged after two laps due to cars going off into the tyre barriers. With drivers missing from the restart, James lined up eighth and was quickly up to seventh, before passing title rival Paul Rivett for sixth. Contact involving team-mate Mark Proctor allowed James to gain another place, taking the finish in fifth for vital championship points.
Sunday's race to prove disappointing for the ABP Heating, Weidmuller and The Art of Decorating sponsored driver though. Rising to sixth place by lap four, he was hit into a spin by a rival at Clervaux on lap six, dropping him to sixteenth. He mounted a recovery drive back into the top ten, but more contact on the penultimate lap damaged his steering and ended his race.
Dixon said: “It's not been a brilliant weekend for us. The damage was done in qualifying really where we didn't get it right and the races were very tough from there. There was a lot of contact, in the second race in particular, but we have to look at the positives. I've learned a lot this weekend on the mechanical side of things with the car so that's good. I've definitely upped my game there.
“I'd like to say a big thank you to my sponsors Weidmuller and ABP Heating for travelling up to Croft this weekend to watch me race. It was a long way to come, and I am disappointed I wasn't able to give them a win or a podium this weekend, but I'm very grateful for their help and support – without them I wouldn't be on the grid at all.”