Another win for Dixon while Goff takes maiden Clio Cup cup success at OultonPosted: June 7, 2011
James Dixon took his third win in the seventh round of the 2011 AirAsia Renault Clio Cup at Oulton Park, while Jack Goff cruised to a comfortable maiden success in the series in Sunday’s eighth round.
Qualifying on Saturday afternoon had gone the way of Total Control Racing, with their drivers Dixon and Tom Grice filling the front row slots on the grid for the weekend’s opening race, and a strong start for Dixon saw him take up the race lead as a poor getaway for team-mate Grice dropped him to fourth place.
Behind them on the third row of the grid it was a sensational start for James Colburn who squeezed his way through the pack in to leap from fifth up to second in the opening corners ahead of Goff, the recovering Grice, championship leader Paul Rivett, and Aron Smith rounding out the top six.
The race unusually became a bit of a proccession after the opening lap, Matt Allison’s pass on Adam Bonham for seventh on the fourth lap being one of the few overtaking moves worth mentioning as Dixon pulled clear at the front to win by 0.849s for his third win of the season and take Graduate Cup honours also in the process.
Colburn took his second podium of the season with a strong second place ahead of the following Goff, Grice and Rivett rounding out the top five ahead of Smith, Allison and the Team Pyro pairing of Bonham and Josh Files, with Jake Packun finishing down in 10th place.
Dixon was again on the pole position for race two which took place in difficult damp conditions, and another good getaway ensured he held on to the lead on the opening lap.
This time however he was being chased by Team Pyro’s Goff, who had moved up from fourth to second place with a solid start as he latched onto the back of the leader, before making his move to take the lead at Old Hall on lap two with a confident late-braking pass as Dixon struggled for grip in the early stages.
Behind them, on the same lap at Old Hall Smith made his way past Colburn for fourth place, allowing the double race winner from Thruxton last time out to set his sights on third-placed man Rivett, who had slipped a place at the start from the front row.
Grice then made a mistake at the hairpin as he locked up and ran very deep, while Packun and Files then had a coming together on the exit of the corner that dropped them back down the field.
Irishman Smith began put the former double-champion under massive pressure and on lap seven Rivett made the mistake in the slippery condidtions when he out-braked himself at the final corner, dropping down to seventh place in the process. Smith then began his pursuit of second place man Dixon, and disposed the TCR driver of second place on lap nine.
Up front, Goff was untouchable and had pulled away to win by 5.6s at the flag for his first ever win in Clio Cup, Smith making it a Pyro one-two by finishing second ahead of Dixon in third who picked up his fifth podium of the season. Colburn, Craig Currie and Bonham completed the top six ahead of Rivett who could only manage seventh, Darren Wilson who took Masters honours with eighth, while Grice and Chris Swanwick rounded out the top ten.
Ex-BTCC driver Mark Proctor took the Masters honours for the opening race with 14th place, while the ever-learning and improving Nicholas Hamilton kept him honest throughout that race on Saturday as he finished 15th before retiring in race two, but was only 1.1s off the pace in qualifying, beating Proctor and Wilson in the process.
The result means that Dixon now takes a joint lead in the championship with Rivett to Croft in two weeks time but with Smith in close company, where the championship leader at the end of the round will win a competition introduced by new title sponsor AirAsia that consists of a holiday for four to Kuala Lumpar as a mid-season reward.
Championship standings after rounds 7/8:
1: James Dixon, 197
2: Paul Rivett, 197
3: Aron Smith, 182
4: James Colburn, 150
5: Jack Goff, 146
6: Tom Grice, 122