Paul Rivett capped off his full time return to the ELF Renault Clio Cup with Michelin with victory in Round 13 at Silverstone. The former double champion took the lead early on and held off championship leader Dave Newsham for the win, giving his BlueSquare Data/Stancombe Vehicle Engineering team their first win of the season.
It was Team Pyro's Newsham who started the race on pole, with Rivett joining him on the front row. Total Control Racing's Mike Robinson and Westbourne Motorsport's James Colburn made up row two, with Robinsons team-mate James Dixon and JHR Development's Lee Pattison on row three.
With fans hoping for a good duel between Newsham and Rivett at the front, expectations were high as they race begun. It was Rivett who emerged from the start in the lead; with Newsham then quickly losing another place on lap one to Robinson.
Robinson quickly set about making a move on Rivett for the lead. The pair ran nose to tail over the opening couple of laps, before Robinson got his chance on lap three, getting a run on Rivett as they came out of Woodcote. Rivett defended well though and held his lead.
It proved to be Robinson's only attempt at taking the lead, with him soon being put under a lot of pressure from Newsham for second. He made his move on lap seven at Brooklands, a late lunge seeing him take the place, giving him a chance to hunt down Rivett out front.
Newsham's chief championship rival Sam Tordoff was having a quiet race by his standards, the Total Control Racing driver running in seventh, unable to make progress up the order. Overtaking was proving to be tough throughout the field, despite close racing all the way down the order.
At the front, Newsham was beginning to put Rivett under immense pressure, with the pair running side by side as they crossed the line on lap 14. Newsham was unable to find away past, despite setting the NGK fastest lap of the race in his pursuit. With the laps ticking down, Rivett held off the advances from behind to take the win, his first since returning to the series. Newsham followed closely in second, in the process taking the Masters Cup honours, with Robinson rounding off the podium in third. Pattison finished fourth, with Colburn fifth and winning the Graduate Cup. Jake Packun and Tordoff were next up, followed by Patrick Collins in eighth, a great drive through the field after starting 13th. Jack Goff and Matthew Munson rounded out the top ten.