Paul Rivett has taken victory in Round Two of the 2011 AirAsia Renault Clio Cup UK around the Brands Hatch Indy Circuit. The Stancombe Vehicle Engineering driver's win, added to a podium finish in the weekend's earlier race, sees him leave the Kent venue with an 18 point lead at the top of the championship standings.
Rivett suffered a slow start from pole position, allowing fellow front row starter James Dixon to draw alongside, while Scuderia Vittoria driver Luke Wright enjoyed a great start from the second row to make it three abreast as they head to Paddock Hill for the first time.
Rivett managed to hold his lead on the inside, with Jake Packun latching onto his boot lid to slide through into second ahead of Wright, while Dixon the one to lose out, tagged in the back by Jack Goff, the Total Control Racing driver was lucky not to be collected by anyone else as he span in the middle of Paddock, eventually re-joining at the back.
One of the many drivers to pass him was series newcomer Nicolas Hamilton, who enjoyed a great start. After a solid debut in round one, he looked to mix it with his rivals more and passed two other cars on the run to Druids, however his progress was halted when TCR team mate Mark Proctor tagged him at Clearways. Both drivers ended up in the gravel and while Hamilton was able to re-join the track and join the back of the pack, Proctors race was over.
After a few laps behind the safety car, Rivett restarted with Packun close behind. Towards the bottom end of the top ten, a great battle began between Team Pyro's Chris Swanwick, Westbourne Motorsport's James Colburn and TCR's Tom Grice for eighth place. The trio were briefly joined by Josh Files, until a little spin saw him drop out of contention.
As the race headed over the halfway mark, Rivett began to pull a small advantage at the front from Packun, who in turn began to pull away from Wright, Goff and Aron Smith behind. Looking to work his way up the field after his earlier incident was Dixon, but after making it up to eleventh, a spin at Clearways on lap eleven dropped him back down the order.
Drivers were making mistakes all over the place, with Wright dropping out of third after running wide through the gravel at Clark, before a lock-up at Paddock Hill on lap sixteen saw second placed Packun run wide and end his race in the gravel trap.
This promoted Smith to third, with former BTCC racer Matt Allison pushing him hard in fourth. Behind, Grice had managed to come out on top of his mini battle, passing Colburn and then Swanwick for sixth, while in a battle for ninth, Pyro's Adam Bonham managed to find a way past Wright.
At the front though, with Packun in the gravel, two time Clio champion Rivett enjoyed a trouble free run to the line to take the win. Goff followed for a strong second, taking the Graduate Cup honours in the process, ahead of Pyro team-mate Smith. Allison followed in fourth, with Masters Cup winner Lee Pattison fifth, ahead of Grice, Swanwick, Colburn, Bonham and Wright.
Narrowly missing out on the top ten was Craig Currie, who enjoyed a race long battle with Files, with a frustrated Dixon thirteenth, ahead of Darren Wilson and Hamilton.