Total Control Racing's James Dixon missed out on the 2011 AirAsia Renault Clio Cup UK championship title after a disappointing weekend during the final rounds of the season at Brands Hatch, while team-mate Nicolas Hamilton enjoyed his best meeting of the season to end the season on a high.
Dixon headed into the weekend with one of five drivers in with a chance of taking the title, but his aspirations were severely dented in Saturday's opening race. The Kent-based racer was tagged on the opening tour, dropping him down the order and although putting in a strong drive, Dixon was only able to take tenth.
This left Hamilton to finish as TCR's highest placed driver after a superb race. Starring in qualifying with thirteenth, a sensational opening lap saw Hamilton climb to eighth and although he dropped a place, he still took his best finish of the season.
The team's final driver Mark Proctor earned another Masters Cup victory after taking a strong fourteenth place, the experienced racer having to defend hard from a couple of rivals to take the class win.
TCR team principal Lee Brookes said: “Nic's drive was storming, unbelievable. His result was as good as a win today for us but a win is what we needed with James. We don't know where the pace went today – James still has a chance at the championship tomorrow, just not a very strong one. Mark defended really well today, he had a good race and that's what we like to see.”
Heading into the final race, Dixon had a lot to do to take the title and was determined to give it his best shot. He held sixth from the start and got promoted to fifth on lap six. With his title rivals ahead of him though, Dixon needed divine intervention to come into play for him to take the crown, but it wasn't to come, with Dixon getting pipped to the line and ending up sixth. It's still been a great season for Dixon though, ending up with more wins than any of his rivals with four.
Hamilton continued his superb weekend with another strong race run. Starting ninth on the grid, he dropped to eleventh on the opening lap but he fought back to tenth and narrowly missed out on matching his seasons best result in the previous race. Proctor meanwhile concluded the season with a frustrating retirement on lap nine, with him challenging for another class victory when he ran into the gravel at Clark Curve.
Brookes added: “We're obviously really disappointed to miss out on the Clio title again. It all came down to qualifying in the end, we're baffled where the pace went. It's a real shame for James as he's had a great season.
“Nic did another fantastic job, he's performed unbelievably well this weekend and is showing he can be a regular top 10 front-runner – he's just getting better and better. It's a shame Mark's season ended with a non-finish in the last race but he's definitely had some good highlights this year.”