Josh Files secured a superb lights to flag victory in Round 12 of the 2013 Renault UK Clio Cup on home tarmac at Snetterton.
Files’ second-ever win in the championship extends his lead at the top of the championship standings to 13 points with just four races remaining this season.
The Team Pyro ace started the race from pole position and a good start saw him retain his lead into Riches for the first time, while a fantastic start from the second row saw James Colburn leap into second ahead of Paul Rivett and fellow fast-starter Stefan Hodgetts.
Rivett moved back into second briefly at Agostini, however Colburn got back up the inside going onto the back straight, pushing both wide. This allowed Hodgetts a run past both onto the Bentley Straight into second, while Colburn survived an off track moment at the Esses to retain third.
Behind, the opening lap didn’t go without incident. First Devon Modell was spun round at Montreal by Ash Hand, and then a tight squeeze on the run to Palmer saw Ronnie Klos and Jacques Mizzi sandwich Tautyvdas Barstys, with heavy contact between the three retiring them on the spot.
Fortunately for Files, the safety car wasn’t required to clear up their stricken Clio’s, meaning the leader maintained his advantage at the front. By the end of lap three his lead was up to over three seconds, with the 22 year old controlling the remainder of the race to win by 3.8 seconds.
Hodgetts went on to hold second throughout, in the process picking up his sixth top two finish in the last seven races, while in the battle for third, Colburn snatched the final podium place on the last lap from Rivett, who had held the place since lap two.
Josh Cook followed up his Round 11 podium with fifth place, the JHR Developments driver leading home Team Pyro pairing Alex Morgan and Ash Hand, while his team-mate Lee Pattison took the Masters Cup honours in eighth.
Ant Whorton-Eales took ninth on the road ahead of Scuderia Vittoria team-mate Mike Bushell, however he was handed a one second penalty post-race, switching the KX Akademy duo in the final classifications.
Full race results can be found here: http://tsl-timing.com/toca/2013/133103cli.pdf
Provisional Renault UK Clio Cup standings (After Rd.12):
- Josh Files – 299pts
- Paul Rivett – 286pts
- Alex Morgan – 255pts
- James Colburn – 224pts
- Stefan Hodgetts – 215pts
- Josh Cook – 212pts
- Lee Pattison – 193pts
- Mike Bushell – 153pts