A last lap move on Paul Rivett gave James Colburn his second victory of the weekend in an action-packed Round Six of the 2012 AirAsia Renault Clio Cup UK, the Westbourne Motorsport driver mastering the wet conditions at Thruxton that claimed many of his rivals.
With the wet weather causing standing water across the track, the race began under the safety car. After three laps, the race started on lap four, with the action beginning instantly as Nicolas Hamilton span out of sixth place into the barriers on standing water at Allard.
Ahead, pole-sitter Colburn was leading the way, however he slid wide on the wet track, allowing Team Pyro's Adam Bonham into the lead at the Complex, with his team-mate Josh Files also getting past later around the lap to take second. Colburn slotted into third, while behind an early change for fourth saw reigning champion Rivett slide past championship leader Jack Goff.
The action continued on the next lap, with leader Bonham running wide and spinning on the grass at the Noble, with Files following suit in second. In the melee, Rivett squeezed through into the lead ahead of Colburn, with Files recovering to third, albeit with some advertising hoarding stuck to the front of his car. Bonham also got back on track meanwhile, but had to visit the pits to remove grass from his grill.
The new race leader looked to break away from those behind, but he was unable to when the safety car appeared after some incidents at Allard on lap six. The first to have a moment was Adam Gould, the rallying convert catching a big slide after aquaplaning, but unable to the same behind were Rob Smith, who spun across the track at the exit of the corner and hit the barriers on the inside, and Mike Bushell, who slid wide and smashed the barriers very hard on the outside, the accidents ending both their races.
After four safety car laps, the racing resumed with Rivett leading Colburn, while behind Goff was quickly up to third, diving around the outside of Files at the Complex. Although his Team Pyro team-mate fought back, Goff made the move stick through Church.
Behind, Luke Wright ran fifth until a mistake at the Complex saw him drop three places, with Josh Cook, James Dixon and Kim Andersson working their way past. Scuderia Vittoria's Wright ended up heading into the pits and into retirement at the end of the lap.
The leaders were unable to break clear at the front, with a five car train developing for the lead. Rivett stayed in front, with Colburn getting challenged for second by Goff. Their battle bunched up those behind and getting a chance for a move was Cook, the rookie getting up the inside of Files, however the Pyro man didn't notice him and came across the front of the car, spinning himself off the track and outside the top ten. Cook recovered to slot into fifth behind Dixon.
At the front, Colburn was able to shake off Goff and mount an attack on Rivett heading into the final couple of laps. A great run out of the final chicane on the penultimate lap gave Colburn a run on the triple champion and he made the move stick into Allard to take the lead.
Colburn went on to cross the line to score his second victory of a great weekend, while Rivett fended off a last corner challenge from Goff to take second, his fourth podium of the season. Behind Goff, Dixon picked up his best result of the season so far in fourth, while taking the Rookie Cup class win in fifth after a penultimate lap move on Cook was Andersson.
Ignas Gelzinis capped off a strong weekend with seventh ahead of Vic Covey, while Gould recovered from a spin before the race start and his moment at Allard to take ninth, the best result of his short Clio career to date. Aaron Williamson battled through from 23rd on the grid to complete the top ten, while Finlay Crocker took the Masters Cup win in eleventh, just ahead of his class rival Simon Belcher.
Provisional 2012 AirAsia Renault Clio Cup UK Championship Standings (After Rd.6):
1. Jack Goff – 159 points
2. Paul Rivett – 137 points
3. Adam Bonham – 130 points
4. James Dixon – 116 points
5. James Colburn – 102 points
6. Josh Files – 100 points
7. Ant Whorton-Eales – 94 points
8. Kim Andersson – 72 points