Renault UK Clio CupTouring Cars

Smith Completes Thruxton Double

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Aron Smith took victory in Round Six of the AirAsia Renault Clio Cup UK to complete a perfect weekend at Thruxton, the Irishman picking up two pole positions and two race wins around the high speed Hampshire circuit.

Smith led away, with Paul Rivett producing a great start to leap into second from the second row of the grid. He was aided by contact by front row starter James Colburn on the back of Scuderia Vittoria's Matt Allison at the exit of Allard, sending the latter into the barriers and out of race, with Westbourne Motorsport's Colburn also retiring due to damage, pulling off at Campbell.

This brought the safety car out, bunching the field up with Smith leading Rivett, Jack Goff, Lee Pattison, James Dixon and Adam Bonham. Smith controlled the restart well, really bunching the field up on the run up Woodham Hill, before nailing the throttle and building a lead of over three car lengths by the time he crossed the line.

Making a move early on down the field was Tom Grice, the series rookie passing Jake Packun for eighth at Allard on lap five after getting a good run out of the final chicane. Ahead, working his way into the top five was Team Pyro's Bonham, drawing alongside Dixon at Allard before making the move stick into the complex.

At the front, Smith was starting to come under real pressure from double champion Rivett, the Stancombe Vehicle Engineering driver in turn having to defend hard from Goff in third.  Lap twelve saw Rivett try to make a move around the outside at Cob, but running wide, he saw himself side by side with Goff out of Seagrave and around Noble, before sticking around the outside at Goodwood and getting back ahead at Church.

The battling allowed Pattison and Bonham to join the back of the battle, with Pattison trying to find a way past Goff at Club, but ending up losing momentum, allowing Bonham to make his way past into fourth. Also making further progress up the field was Grice, getting past Chris Swanwick on the penultimate lap for seventh place.

As the race reached its final lap, Smith found Rivett right on his bumper, but the Team Pyro driver held him off to take his third career Clio Cup win and the race's Graduate Cup honours, with Rivett's second seeing him maintain the championship lead, and Goff third, taking his second podium of the season.

Fourth went to Bonham, his best result of the season, with Pattison taking the Masters Cup win in fifth. Total Control Racing pairing Dixon and Grice were next up ahead of Swanwick and his team-mate Craig Currie, with Packun completing the top ten. Josh Files and Darren Wilson followed, while completing the finishers after a spin at Church during the race was Total Control Racing's Nicolas Hamilton, who was being supported at the circuit by BBC Formula One presenter Jake Humphrey.

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