by lewis Beales
Thursday, January 10, 2013
Josh Files is set for a busy year as he aims to contest both the Renault UK Clio Cup and the Eurocup Clio Championship with the title winning Team Pyro.
The Poringland driver proved to be a front runner during 2012 in the AirAsia Renault UK Clio Cup and will be returning to the series for a third year with the aim of challenging for the title.
“I’m absolutely ecstatic that I have been able to raise the budget to confirm my activity in the Renault UK Clio Cup and Eurocup Clio Championship,” said Files. “I learnt a lot from last year, and I’m sure that I will be able to come back stronger.”
Files finished sixth in the Clio Cup having shown his paces with four pole positions and set a lap record during the visit to Silverstone, but despite numerous podium places that elusive first victory has remained tantalisingly out of reach.
While challenging for the Renault UK Clio Cup will remain a priority in 2013, he will be making his first venture onto the European racing scene as part of a two-car Team Pyro effort that will visit no less than six different venues during the duration of the season.
Files started last season strongly with second and fourth places in the opening round at Brands Hatch, only beaten in the points stakes by Team Pyro team-mate, and eventual champion, Jack Goff.
Ninth and a non-finish at the next round at Donington Park hurt the local racer, who fell back to sixth place, as all his main rivals, Goff, Paul Rivett and Adam Bonham, who also drove for Team Pyro, all had a strong point scoring weekend.
Undeterred, Files bounced back to take his best points haul of the season with second place, and the two additional points for fastest lap, in the Thruxton opener but could only manage a lowly 13th in race two to consolidate sixth place in the title chase.
At Oulton Park, Files was fifth in race one and only narrowly beaten to victory by the returning Stefan Hodgetts in the second event.
Snetterton, the venue which saw Files make his breakthrough in 2011 by running with the leaders and standing on the podium for the first time, brought only two fifth places in 2012, but it did lift him up to fourth in the points chart.
A distant 18th and fifth at Rockingham relegated Files to fifth in the standings, which became sixth after Silverstone, where his highlight was a new lap record.
The return to Brands resulted in another second place to Hodgetts while a frustrating season ended with Files on his roof after contact with the safety barrier in the season finale.