Paul Rivett Celebrates His Championship Win - Photo Credit: Jakob Ebrey Photography


Paul Rivett has secured his third AirAsia Renault Clio Cup UK crown with victory in the final round of the 2011 championship at Brands Hatch, the Stancombe Vehicle Engineering driver ending up securing the title by six points.

Stancombe Vehicle Engineering driver Rivett started from pole and a great getaway was vital as he maintained the lead in Paddock Hill for the first time, with Jake Packun taking second ahead of Rivett's title rivals James Colburn and Aron Smith.

Team Pyro's Smith quickly got into third though, passing Westbourne Motorsport's Colburn at Hawthorns. To win the title, Smith knew he would have to pass Rivett at the front, so set about trying to pass Get On Track Development's Packun in second.

His progress was halted slightly when the safety car appeared for two laps, caused by newcomer Chris Smith going off track on the GP loop. At the restart, Rivett couldn't quite break away instantly, with Packun putting him under slight pressure. It wasn't to last though, with Rivett soon building a gap as Packun began defending from a determined Smith.

As Rivett broke clear, Smith's chances of taking the title faded as Packun held him off. This meant all eyes were on Rivett and with no problems to his car, the Lumison BlueSquare Data backed driver was able to cross the line and become the first driver since the 1970's to take three Clio Cup titles.

Packun held on to take second, his third podium of the season, while a disappointed Smith had to settle for third. Colburn, who headed into the race leading the championship after taking his maiden series win in the weekend's earlier race, could only take fourth, with Josh Files and James Dixon completing the top six.

Ant Whorton-Eales continued his impressive start to his Clio career with seventh, ahead of Rob Boston and David Dickenson. Nicolas Hamilton completed his strongest weekend of the season so far with tenth, ahead of Adam Bonham and Andy Gorton. Newcomer Ash Miller took thirteenth, with Masters Cup class front two Darren Wilson and Simon Belcher completed the finishers.  Wilson secured the 2011 Masters Cup title in the process.

Both Scuderia Vittoria's Luke Wright and Team Pyro's Jack Goff were unable to start the race, with their cars still damaged after contact in the weekend's earlier race.