Stefan Hodgetts got his 2013 Renault UK Clio Cup campaign back on track with his first victory of the season in Round Six at Thruxton, becoming the fifth different winner in the first six races.
Bouncing back well from a disappointing retirement in Round Five, Hodgetts led from lights to flag to pick up a much needed first podium finish of the campaign, the KX Akademy star having had his fair share of bad luck over the opening couple of weekends.
A strong start from pole saw Hodgetts lead into Allard for the first time, while a slow getaway for fellow front-row starter Josh Files dropped him into the pack, with Jake Giddings briefly holding second before Lee Pattison stormed around the outside into the Complex.
Giddings slotted into third ahead of a recovering Files, with Josh Cook lucky to stay fifth after a huge slide at the back of the circuit, the JHR Developments driver leading James Colburn, Ash Hand and Mike Bushell.
Despite Giddings challenging Pattison for second behind early on, Hodgetts was unable to break away as he’d hoped to, with a five car train developing for the lead, split by less than two seconds at the end of lap three.
As Hodgetts led away with Pattison on his tail, a change for third on lap four saw Files work his way past Giddings. The latter’s race got worse on lap seven, the FML driver losing out to Cook at the Complex, before Hand found his way past at Noble. An off track moment at Church followed, allowing Colburn and James Nutbrown through into the final chicane, with Giddings eventually dropping to tenth at the end of lap eight.
This change for fourth allowed the front three to break clear and although he wasn’t able to completely shake off Pattison and Files behind, their battling allowed Hodgetts a relatively easy run to the line to take the victory, with Pattison holding off Files to take second.
Cook fended off a racy Hand to take fourth, the latter having a problem coming out of the final chicane on the last lap, dropping him to eighth across the line. Devon Modell capped off a great drive to finish fifth ahead of Westbourne Motorsport duo Bushell and Colburn.
Behind Hand, Paul Rivett took a frustrating ninth, the three-time Clio champion left unable to make the same progress from thirteenth on the grid he had in Round Five when he finished fourth, with Jordan Stilp completing the top ten ahead of a disappointed Giddings.
Full race results can be found here: http://tsl-timing.com/toca/2013/131803cli.pdf