James Colburn took his first win of the 2014 Courier Connections Renault UK Clio Cup season, fending off a late challenge from Paul Rivett for victory in Round Six at Thruxton.
The key to Colburn’s victory was a superb start from third on the grid, with the Westbourne Motorsport ace diving down a small gap between poleman Mike Bushell and the pitwall to seize the advantage.
As Colburn led Lee Pattison at the front, Bushell had a disastrous first lap as he lost ground to Josh Cook, Ash Hand, Rivett and Alex Morgan to slip to seventh at the end of the opening tour.
Two laps later it was Cook’s turn to have a tumble down the order, with a forceful move at Cobb from SV Racing team-mate Handopening the door for Rivett and Bushell to get ahead, the latter having regained his place from Morgan a lap earlier.
Colburn, Pattison and Hand soon formed a three car train for the lead, with Rivett sitting in close attendance waiting to pounce on any opportunities that may arise.
On lap ten, his moment came. Hand attempted to make a move on Pattison for second, and after a couple of taps in the braking zone, a spin for Hand took Pattison with him, both pirouetting around.
This promoted Rivett into second, and the triple Clio Cup champion worked his way onto Colburn’s tail heading onto the last lap. He got alongside on the run into the final chicane, however both drivers outbraked themselves and were forced to cut the chicane, ensuring Colburn’s victory.
“It was all done by the start really,” an elated Colburn told TCF. “I monstered off the line, saw a Clio width gap down the inside and got through. I then defended for my life really, and to maintain the lead, especially around here with the slipstream, I’m really pleased.”
“I nearly pipped James [Colburn] to the post on the last lap there, I lined him up for what I thought would be the perfect run, but I didn’t quite make it,” added Rivett. “While it’s not quite been the weekend we’d hoped for with the first race DNF, I’ve had two really enjoyable races and can’t wait for Oulton.”
After switching places with Cook a couple of times over lap nine and ten, Round Five winner Bushell took third on the road, however a problem with one of his overtakes earnt him a 0.5 second penalty post-race. This gave championship leader Cook a fifth podium finish of the season and with it a fifteen point championship lead, with Bushell classified fourth.
Morgan a strong fifth in a Clio that was worse for wear after his race one incident, while Jordan Stilp fought to a top six finish from eleventh on the grid.
Ant Whorton-Eales was next up ahead of Devon Modell, with Hand and Pattison recovering from their moment to finish ninth and tenth respectively, with Rob Smith completing the finishers after a trip through the pitlane.
Post-race, three points were applied to Hand’s racing licence for the incident with Pattison, as well as a deduction of three championship points and a five place grid penalty for the opening race at Oulton Park next time out.
Full race results can be found here: http://tsl-timing.com/toca/2014/141803cli.pdf
Provisional Renault UK Clio Cup Championship Standings (After Rd.6 of 20):
1. Josh Cook – SV Racing – 156pts
2. Mike Bushell – Team Pyro – 135pts
3. Alex Morgan – SV Racing – 127pts
4. James Colburn – Westbourne Motorsport – 126pts
5. Ant Whorton-Eales – SV Racing – 108pts
6. Paul Rivett – WDE Motorsport – 102pts
7. Jordan Stilp – 20Ten Racing – 101pts
8. Ash Hand – SV Racing – 97pts
9. Rob Smith – Team Pyro – 94pts
10. Lee Pattison – Team Pyro – 92pts