Rivett and Dixon again taste the champagne in Clio CupPosted: April 18, 2011
It was a case of Deja vu in the Air Asia Clio Cup as Paul Rivett and James Dixon both repeated their Brands Hatch successes with a win each in their Donington double-header.
The pair were both seperated by very little for pace over the weekend, as proven by qualifying when it was Dixon that snatched the initiative with a pole time that was only just 0.099s quicker than the championship leader Rivett.
Rivett turned the deficit around though in race one with a terrific getaway from the start, powering into the lead and leaving Dixon with all the work to do as he chased after the former champion.
Behind them, a slow-starting Tom Grice was sent onto the grass at Redgate by the dueling pair of Jake Packun and Lee Pattison, who came to blows after Pattison rubbed his rival aside before making further contact with Grice.
Packun then began to close on graduate winner Dixon for second place but the top three remained unchanged to the flag.
Further back, a fantastic battle broke out between Matt Allison and James Colburn for sixth place. On lap eight, Colburn had reeled in the Scuderia Vittoria driver and began piling on the pressure. As Aron Smith closed on the pair of them, they began to swap places a number of times, Allison coming out on top in a fantastic scrap.
Rivett then opened up a slight lead, extending his gap to over 1.6s as he took his second win in a row.
Rivett’s race two was a much tougher 14 lap battle after he did not match his sublime first race start, dropping down to fourth place as the lead was held by James Dixon who got it spot on as the lights went out this time to head Pattison and Packun around the opening lap, holding off a charging Pattison at Old Hairpin in the process.
The race was then all about the battle for second place as Packun began to look for a way by Pattison for the position, while Rivett began his recovery with an early retaliation on Smith for the fourth position before catching and then outbraking Packun later in the race at Mcleans for third place.
The race proved to be a similar story for Dixon as it was for Rivett in race one as he held onto the lead without a great deal of drama, although Pattison and then Rivett began to creep up onto the back on the Total Control Racing driver, Pattison not quite able to get close enough for a late-braking move as he trailed deserving winner Dixon by three tenths at the flag, his second win in the championship.
Nicholas Hamilton continued his steep learning curve in car racing as he got to within one and a half seconds of the pole time in qualifying on the sweping high-speed Donington Park circuit.
When the races loomed on him he again ran untroubled in the opening race of the weekend to finish down in 17th place, last of the finishers minus Pattison who failed to finish, while the second encouter saw Hamilton shine as he dodged a bullet early in the race to move up the order.
An incident ahead of him as the runners down near the tail of the field headed through Craner Curves saw Craig Currie pitch into a spin by his Pyro team-mate Chris Swanick, nearly collecting Darren Wilson as he spun backwards across the track. Hamilton was the man that took advantage of the heart-in-mouth moment as he kept on the throttle and managed to sneak past three cars on his way to 14th place just behind Matthew Munson, only 27 seconds off the winner.