Josh Files was the class of the field during qualifying for Round’s 9 and 10 of the 2013 Renault UK Clio Cup UK, taking pole position for both the weekend’s races at Croft.
Bouncing back from a frustrating weekend last time at Oulton Park, Files, in a newly-liveried Clio for the weekend, was the only driver to break the 1m 34s barrier in the thirty minute session.
The Team Pyro ace’s best lap of 1m 33.896s gave him like position for this afternoon’s opening race, with his second best time of 1m 33.979s putting him on top for tomorrow’s live-televised encounter.
Files closest competition came from an unlikely source, with Westbourne Motorsport’s Jordan Stilp stunning the established front-runners to go second quickest.
Stilp finished up 0.233s shy of Files’ best, with the first-year Clio campaigner consolidating the performance with fifth on the grid for race two.
The form driver heading into the weekend with two wins in the last three races was Stefan Hodgetts, and the KX Akademy member will be looking to add to that tally this weekend from third and second on the grid.
Friday practice had been a fruitful day for his Scuderia Vittoria team, with Hodgetts topping the timesheets at the end of the day, and team-mates Mike Bushell and Ant Whorton-Eales second and fourth respectively.
The KX Akademy-backed pair weren’t quite able to carry the momentum into qualifying though, with Bushell taking eleventh for both, and Whorton-Eales a seventh and sixth.
Championship leader Paul Rivett had a strong session to put himself fourth and third on the grid, however there was no such joy for his closest points rival Alex Morgan, the Pyro racer only managing ninth and eighth.
In another characteristically close session, James Colburn and Josh Cook completed a top six split by just 0.374s for the opening race, taking fourth and seventh respectively for race two.
Full qualifying results can be found here: http://tsl-timing.com/toca/2013/132503cli.pdf