James Dixon hangs on to win Clio opener

James Dixon lived up to his pre-season aspirations by holding off Jake Packun to secure the first victory of the Air Asia Renault Clio Cup and his first win since joining the series.

The 21 year-old snatched the lead from Packun at the start with a great getaway from the front row of the grid as the field swooped through Paddock Hill bend.

Seconds later there was chaos as the cars jostled for position at Druids when Jack Goff’s attempt to outbrake Luke Wright for fourth ended in Wright’s car being turned around in the middle of the pack, Darren Wilson and former BTCC driver Matt Allison both ending up beached in the gravel as they took avoiding action, resulting in the safety car making an appearance.

As the cars of Goff and another ex-touring car driver Mark Proctor limped back to the pits with damage, Dixon led the field away on the restart ahead of Packun, Paul Rivett and James Colburn.

The four cars were separated by no more than two seconds for most of the race as Packun and Rivett began to pile the pressure on the leader Dixon, but both could not find a gap to make a move.

Despite Packun having a sniff at making an overtake in the closing stages of the race, Dixon never made a mistake and held on to win ahead of Packun and Rivett in a blanket finish.

Nicholas Hamilton also gave the fans a feel-good story as he made the chequered flag in his first car race. He finished in 12th place, 26 seconds behind winner Dixon.

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