James Dixon made it three wins out of three in the AirAsia Renault Clio Cup UK after taking victory in the 2011 season opener at Brands Hatch, adding to his two wins at the track in last season’s final meeting.
The Total Control Racing driver got a good start from second on the grid to lead the pack around the first lap, followed by polesitter Jake Packun and former double champion Paul Rivett.
Behind contact between Luke Wright and Aron Smith at Druids caused chaos, with Matt Allison and Darren Wilson's races ending in the gravel, while Jack Goff and Mark Proctor also retired due to accident damage.
After a safety car period to clear the stricken cars, Dixon led away but was unable to shake off Packun and Rivett, the trio running nose to tail. Next up in fourth, trying to keep up with the leading pack, was Westbourne Motorsport’s James Colburn.
Behind a battle was emerging for fifth between last seasons runner up, JHR Development’s Lee Pattison and Total Control Racing’s series rookie Tom Grice. The newcomer initially got past, but with his front bumper rubbing on the floor due to a previous collision, his pace soon began to drop off, with Pattison and series returnee Aron Smith getting by, before Grice received more contact, with Adam Bonham pushing his way past.
This dropped him into a battle at the bottom end of the top ten between Chris Swanwick, Team Pyro’s Craig Currie and Josh Files, with the teenager eventually dropping two more places.
At the front, the top three were still unable to be separated and stayed in their places until the end, with Dixon taking the win, Get On Track Development ‘s Packun second and Stancombe Vehicle Engineering’s Rivett completing the podium.
Colburn followed in fourth, ahead of Pattison, Pyro quartet Smith, Bonham, Swanwick and Files, the unfortunate Grice and Currie. Last of the finishers, on his debut in motor racing, was Nicolas Hamilton.