Jack Goff has been crowned the 2012 AirAsia Renault Clio Cup UK Champion after crucially finishing ahead of title rival Paul Rivett in the final round of the season at Brands Hatch.
Stefan Hodgetts just fended off Mike Bushell to take the race win, his second of the weekend, but all eyes were on the championship contenders behind, with sixth place enough to secure Goff the crown.
Josh Files began the race from pole position, but a slow getaway allowed Hodgetts to take the lead, with Files being challenged around the outside at Paddock Hill by Ant Whorton-Eales. A slide for Whorton-Eales sent him across the front of Files, with both sliding across the track in front of the pack, fortunately with no other driver’s collecting them.
Their incident allowed Goff to sneak into second ahead of James Dixon and Bushell, with Rivett ending the opening lap down in ninth, behind a recovering Whorton-Eales. Files was the driver to lose out most, dropping to the back of the field, and it went bad to worse for the Team Pyro man when a mechanical failure on lap four sent him into the barriers hard at Clearways, rolling his Clio over.
The safety car was out straight away, with Hodgetts leading Bushell, who passed Dixon just before the break in action. Goff meanwhile had suffered a poor couple of laps by that stage, dropping to fifth behind Josh Cook.
At the restart, Hodgetts was unable to shake off Bushell, who seemed determined to secure a maiden series win. Goff meanwhile was continuing to go backwards, with Whorton-Eales passing him at Surtees on lap eight to leave him under pressure from team-mate Adam Bonham and Rivett.
Ahead, Bushell briefly squeezed ahead of Hodgetts for the lead, but the KX Akademy member found his way back ahead and held on to complete his Brands double, making it four wins in the ten races he’s competed in this season.
Bushell crossed the line just 0.357s adrift for a first ever Clio Cup podium, taking the Rookie Cup honours in the process, while Dixon completed a strong end to the season with his fifth podium in the last eight races.
2012 Rookie Cup champion Cook finished fourth ahead of Whorton-Eales, with a delighted Goff crossing the line sixth. Bonham took seventh ahead of Rivett, with James Colburn and Jake Giddings completing the top ten. 2012 Masters Cup winner Simon Belcher meanwhile took the class honours once again in twelfth.
Final 2012 AirAsia Renault Clio Cup UK Championship Standings:
- Jack Goff – 373pts
- Paul Rivett – 364pts
- James Dixon – 330pts
- Adam Bonham – 297pts
- Josh Cook – 287pts
- Josh Files – 268pts
- Stefan Hodgetts – 239pts
- Ant Whorton-Eales – 208pts