Renault UK Clio Cup championship contender Josh Files was left disappointed after a difficult weekend at Oulton Park.
The 2013 Eurocup Clio race-winner was caught out in an incredibly close qualifying session, the Vocalink-backed driver ending up eighth on the grid for both races, despite being only two tenths of a second off pole position.
The Team Pyro racer made some early progress in race one, however he lost ground when he got caught up in a rival’s accident. The 22 year old slipped to eighth and found himself in a race-long battle with Jake Giddings, passing him on the final lap to finish seventh.
“I got a good start this time and managed to go around the outside to make some places,” said Files. “On lap two, Ant Whorton-Eales knocked a tyre stack into the middle of the road and I managed to find it and hit it, allowing a few people to get past.
“I went back to eighth, which sort of ruined the race, and I got stuck behind Giddings. He defended really well and it wasn’t until the final lap when he made a mistake that I managed to get through. It’s good that we managed to pick up a place at the end, but it’s a shame we got caught out by someone else’s accident.”
A good start to race two was ruined at the first corner when Files found himself hung out to dry on the outside of the first corner, the Norfolk-based racer emerging in eleventh. Moving up to tenth on lap two, Files looked to make more progress, but found himself behind a defensive Rob Smith.
Despite setting the fastest lap of the race, he was unable to make any more progress, leaving him to settle for tenth.
“I got a relatively good start but was pushed out at the first corner, which is the problem with being on the outside,” he added. “I then had the world’s worst person to overtake in front of me; he was defending stupidly and we were losing over a second a lap to those in front. The bad qualifying was responsible for creating a really frustrating race.”
The weekend’s results have dropped Files to third in the championship standings, 31 points behind the championship leader.