Runaway championship leader Dave Newsham took a dominant win in Round 14 of the 2010 Elf Renault Clio Cup with Michelin to give himself the chance of securing the championship in front of his home fans at Knockhill next time out. Newsham led from lap one to take the win on the Silverstone national circuit, almost a year to the day after securing his maiden win in the series on the same track.
Team Pyro's Newsham started the race on pole again, with Total Control Racing's Mike Robinson alongside him on the front row. Round 13 winner Paul Rivett lined up third, with James Colburn fourth. Team Pyro's Jack Goff and JHR Development's Lee Pattison completed row three, Pattison looking to do well on a circuit he's won on in the past, while championship front runner Sam Tordoff started a disappointing ninth.
As they lights went out, Newsham started well, but the best starter was Rivett, getting alongside Newsham as they headed around Copse for the first time. The pair ran side by side for half a lap, before Newsham push himself ahead as they headed into Brooklands for the first time. Colburn made the leap on Robinson on the first lap to move into third, with Robinson closely followed by Pattison.
There was action throughout the field during the early stages, with James Dixon getting past Goff for sixth on lap two, though Goff quickly looked to regain his spot, the pair running nose to tail for a while. Behind, a nice battle emerged between Jeff Smith and Tordoff for eighth, with Smith getting past on lap two, before spinning out of contention a few laps later.
The spin allowed Tordoff to focus his attentions on Goff ahead as he looked to make his way up the order. He quickly got onto the back of the Dixon and Goff duel and made his move on lap eight, getting past Goff at Becketts, before dispatching Dixon two laps later at the same corner.
At the front meanwhile, Newsham had begun to edge away, but Rivett was soon reeling him back in, helped by setting the NGK fastest lap of the race. The pair were soon running nose to tail, trading paint as Rivett looked to find a way past, but as the laps ticked down Rivett just couldn't find a way past.
The large crowd lining the circuit were enjoying the duel between the double former champion and the champion to be, so were disappointed to see the chequered flag come out to end the race. It was Newsham who held on to take the win, in the process becoming the first driver since 2006 to win from pole at the track. Rivett took second, with Colburn taking another hard earned podium in third, his of the season. Colburn also took the Graduate Cup honours, the Masters Cup honours going the way of the race winner Newsham. Pattison finished fourth, ahead of Robinson, Tordoff and Dixon. Josh Cook finished an impressive eighth, with Goff and Smith rounding out the top ten.
Next up for the Clio's is there long awaited return to Knockhill for Rounds 15 and 16, where Newsham mathematically win the title on home soil. A 62 point haul from Silverstone has seen him stretch his advantage at the top of the standings to a mighty 114 points from Pattison, who retook second in the championship after a poor weekend for Tordoff.
2010 ELF Renault Clio Cup with Michelin provisional drivers' standings – round 14:
|1st||Dave Newsham||GBR||Team Pyro||433 pts|
|2nd||Lee Pattison||GBR||JHR Developments||319 pts|
|3rd||Sam Tordoff||GBR||Total Control Racing||314 pts|
|4th||Mike Robinson||GBR||Total Control Racing||270 pts|
|5th||James Colburn||GBR||Westbourne Motorsport||241 pts|
|6th||Jake Packun||GBR||Team Pyro/Autosave||198 pts|