Josh Files is chasing Clio Cup success on two fronts this season in the Renault UK Clio Cup and the Eurocup Clio Championship.
TheCheckeredFlag.co.uk caught up with Josh at the opening rounds of the year at Brands Hatch to discuss his hopes for the season, and his BTCC aspirations.
Files joined the Clio Cup back in 2011 as the reigning Thoroughbread Sports Car champion, with a great debut campaign in the one-make championship seeing him pick up two podium finishes on his way to seventh in the championship and the ‘Rookie of the Year’ honours.
The 21 year old built on his rookie year last season, with some more impressive performances seeing him take four podium finishes and several pole positions en-route to sixth in the championship standings. Now with two years in the series under his belt, Files’ sole focus is on taking the title this year.
“The first season was hard, it was a real learning year,” Files told TCF. “We had a lot of bad results, but at the same time we kept learning and at the end we were quick, with top fives and podiums. Last year I was hoping to go for the championship and to be honest I had the pace, I took pole positions, lap records and podiums, but I made a number of mistakes, had some accidents and that’s what hindered us.
“This year I want to have the pace without the accidents and am intent on the championship. It is the only aim for me this season, I want to go into touring cars next year, but I don’t want to without winning this, so I have to win it this year.”
Alongside his title challenge in the Renault UK Clio Cup, Files will also embark of his first season racing in Europe, joining the Eurocup Clio championship. The series, which visits iconic circuits including Imola, Spa Francorchamps and Catalunya over the twelve race season, will debut the new fourth-generation turbocharged Clio Cup car, which will join the UK series in 2014.
“I’ve never raced in Europe before and I haven’t even sat in the new car yet, so it will certainly be different,” he explained. “I’m sure it will be hard, but we think we should have the pace in me and in the car to go and win that one as well and take the double.”
Next season, the Vocalink-backed racer is aiming to realise a lifelong dream and join the talented collection of Clio racers to graduate into the British Touring Car Championship, following in the footsteps of his team-mate from last season, 2012 Clio Cup champion Jack Goff.
“Touring cars has been my goal since I was about three years old when I saw Gabrielle Tarquini going up on two wheels at Donington Park,” added Files. “It’s where I’ve wanted to be since then, the Clios is the best platform to get there and hopefully we can get there next year.”
The Checkered Flag spoke with Files during the opening weekend of the 2013 season at Brands Hatch, where the Pyro driver enjoyed a mixed weekend, following up an eleventh in race one with a strong fourth place.