Paul Rivett scored his first victory of the 2012 AirAsia Renault UK Clio Cup season yesterday at Brands Hatch, with a strong performance by the PER HIRE/Stancombe Vehicle Engineering triple champion.
In a frenetic first lap, contact between Westbourne Motorsport’s William Davison and Team Pyro’s Kim Andersson into turn one led to retirement for both despite Swedish driver Andersson’s brief return to the track.
Finesse Motorsport Ltd’s Jake Giddings and Scuderia Vittoria’s Luke Wright were also out of the race by the third corner causing a chain reaction resulting in a heavy collision between Mike Bushell, Nic Hamilton and Adam Gould and the release of the safety car.
Pole-man Josh Files broke away from the field with reigning champion Paul Rivett in hot pursuit, regularly harassing the leader and eventually forcing him into a mistake dropping him to fourth and allowing Rivett to take the lead and head for the win.
“Great race! Cars were going everywhere on the first lap, I couldn’t believe how many of them were in the barriers, there was debris here there and everywhere,” said the three-time champion.
“On the restart I was all over Josh and he made a mistake which left the door open and by the time he tried to shut it, I was already there,” said Rivett. “The PER HIRE/Stancombe Vehicle Engineering car has been great today so I’m really pleased with today’s result, it made up for yesterday.”
Race one race winner Jack Goff kept Rivett honest for the remainder of the race, never allowing the leader to break away taking second place and keeping him top of the championship points.
Making a welcome return to the championship, Ginetta graduate Adam Bonham set the race’s fastest lap but was unable to find a way past the dicing duo ahead.
“I was a long way off and it took a long time to catch them back up and managed to get to them just as the race finished so I didn’t have a chance to compete for first or second.”
Former jet-ski champion Simon Belcher scooped the ELF Masters Trophy after making the most of the Finlay Crocker’s five-second penalty for exceeding track limits.
“I’m really happy to survive that first lap carnage and come home eleventh so I’m really pleased, obviously top Master, or old person. It was a good race,”said the Swindon based Handy Motorsport with Pyro driver.
Elsewhere, Lichfield driver Ant Whorton-Eales challenged hard, taking the fight to the more experienced drivers and securing the Rookie Trophy and fifth place overall.
“It went really well today! From thirteenth to fifth, we passed quite a few cars but, obviously, a lot of it was to do with the crash at the start. Overall, it was a great race and massive thanks to Westbourne,” said the 2011 Mini Challenge Club Class champion.
Ignas Gelzinis made his race debut weekend with Lithuanian-based Juta Racing and despite limited pre-season testing avoided the incidents ahead of him to record a twelfth placed finish after starting from the rear of the grid.
The championship heads to East Midland’s Donington Park for round two on April 14-15, where Rivett will be hopeful of building on his success this weekend.
“We’ve got a few points to make up in the championship, but it’s head down for Donington and see what we can do there,” said Rivett.
Race Two Results
- Paul RIVETT Stancombe Vehicle Engineering 23 laps 24:19.574
- Jack GOFF Team Pyro +0.381
- Adam BONHAMTeam Pyro +0.796
- Josh FILESTeam Pyro +2.655
- Ant WHORTON-EALES Westbourne Motorsport +5.060
- James DIXONScuderia Vittoria +6.193
- James COLBURNWestbourne Motorsport +7.212
- Rob SMITHTotal Control Racing +11.676
- Vic COVEYScuderia Vittoria +18.131
- Simon BELCHERHandy Motorsport with Pyro +18.412
Championship Points After Round 1: