The 2013 Renault UK Clio Cup returns to action this weekend after the six week summer break with Josh Files looking to extend his advantage at the top of the points standings at his home circuit Snetterton.
The Norwich-based racer moved to the top of the standings last time out at Croft courtesy of his first ever win in the championship. Since then, while the majority of the 24-car grid have been resting and recharging their batteries ahead of the six remaining races, Files has been back in action in the latest rounds of the Eurocup Clio series at the Red Bull Ring in Austria.
In the third meeting of the season two weeks ago, the Team Pyro racer took his fourth podium of the campaign so far to maintain second in the championship standings, filling him with confidence ahead of Rounds 11 and 12 of the UK series this weekend at Snetterton, the scene of his first ever Clio Cup podium two years ago.
“At Snetterton we’re going to be pushing for wins or podiums at the very least,” said Files. “I absolutely adore Snetterton; it’s my local track, it always attracts a big crowd and its technically challenging lay-out plays to my strength. To win at Croft was a real monkey off my back and boosted my confidence no end. That success should mean the momentum is with me. I’m feeling really positive!”
Hot on Files’ heels though is Paul Rivett, with the three-times series champion determined to try and reclaim the championship lead in Norfolk after a puncture at Croft cost him crucial points. The Stancombe Vehicle Engineering racer has a good record around the Snetterton 300 layout too, claiming a double victory there last season.
Two to watch in the chasing pack meanwhile are Alex Morgan, the first-year driver looking to add to the four podium finishes that have placed him third in the standings so far, and Stefan Hodgetts, the KX Akademy member having headed into the break with five consecutive top-two finishes under his belt, including three wins.
Alongside Files, another driver counting Snetterton as his ‘home’ event is Jake Giddings. The Wisbech-based racer goes into the weekend eight in the championship standings, with a first podium finish of the season in his sights.
Also looking to impress meanwhile will be Jonas Gelzinis, the Lithuanian having recently secured the coveted European place in the FIA Institute Young Driver Excellence Academy. The 22 year old will be looking to showcase what he can do at Snetterton and pick up a first top ten finish of the season.
Pre-event testing will take place on Friday, 2nd August, with qualifying and round 11 following on Saturday, 3rd August, at 11.20 and 16.40 respectively. On Sunday, 4th August, round 12 is scheduled to get underway at 11.10, with the race to be televised ‘as-live’ in the afternoon on ITV4 and ITVHD.
Provisional 2013 Renault UK Clio Cup Championship Standings (After Rd.10):
1. Josh Files – 235pts
2. Paul Rivett – 232pts
3. Alex Morgan – 213pts
4= Stefan Hodgetts – 187pts
4= James Colburn – 187pts
6. Lee Pattison – 168pts
7. Josh Cook – 167pts
8. Mike Bushell – 136pts
9. Jake Giddings – 135pts
10. Ant Whorton-Eales – 123pts