Josh Cook completed a stunning weekend by taking victory in Round 19 of the AirAsia Renault Clio Cup UK at Silverstone.
For the second time in the weekend, Cook withheld huge amounts of pressure to take the race win, with Paul Rivett once again left to take second, though the double podium means he’s now just three points away from the championship lead heading into the final races of the season.
Rivett started from pole position in his Stancombe Vehicle Engineering-run Clio, but a slow getaway meant it was Adam Bonham who led into Copse for the first time, with Rivett dropping to third behind Cook.
Bonham’s lead was short-lived though, with Cook getting a run out of Luffield at the end of the opening lap, before making the move stick into Copse. A train of five cars quickly formed at the front of the field, while championship leader Jack Goff frantically tried to close onto them in sixth.
In the middle of the leading pack, a forceful move by Stefan Hodgetts at Luffield saw him take fourth from James Dixon, though this was also short-lived, a mistake at the same corner a lap later dropping him to ninth.
At the front, it was five for the lead, with Cook coming under pressure from Bonham behind. The lead changed between the two briefly on lap eleven, Bonham pushing his way past at Maggotts, before Cook returned the favour at Luffield. Rivett and Dixon followed him through to demote Bonham to fourth, with the Team Pyro man losing another spot to team-mate Goff on the next lap.
Cook perfectly executed the remaining seven laps to cross the line for his second win of the weekend, with Rivett securing his tenth podium of the season in second. Dixon continued his strong run of form with a third podium in four races in third, while fourth place was just enough for Goff to keep him in the championship lead heading to Brands Hatch in two weeks.
Bonham took fifth ahead of Ant Whorton-Eales, the Westbourne Motorsport driver finishing second in the Rookie class to race-winner Cook. Lithuanian Gelzinis matched his seasons-best finish in seventh ahead of a recovering Hodgetts, with James Colburn and Josh Files completing the top ten, the latter left to rue a poor start from fifth on the grid that left him outside the top ten.
Provisional 2012 AirAsia Renault Clio Cup UK Championship Standings (After Rd. 14 of 16):
- Jack Goff – 343pts
- Paul Rivett – 340pts
- James Dixon – 289pts
- Adam Bonham – 261pts
- Josh Cook – 240pts
- Josh Files – 240pts
- Ant Whorton-Eales – 188pts
- Stefan Hodgetts – 173pts