Files right at home with podium place
Poringland's Josh Files made the transition from club to career racer last year, ending up a potent force in the Renault Clio Championship with a strong future ahead of him.
Files made the switch to the AirAisa Renault Clio Cup last season after clinching the Thoroughbred Sports Car Championship with two measured drives at Snetterton in late 2010.
'The season started well with some top ten finishes, exactly where I wanted to be,' said Files, who started off with a top ten position in his first race at Brands Hatch, followed up with 12th in race two.
The series moved on to Donington Park, where he secured eighth and 11th places in the two events.
These positions were matched at the next round at Thruxton, where Files caught the eye for his total commitment around the fast sweeps of the Hampshire circuit.
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Ninth place followed at Oulton Park along with a retirement, while tenth and 12th places were achieved at the Croft races.
'The turning point of the season really was at Croft, despite the results, due to both times having contact and bending my steering. I was in place for a podium and a fourth before it all happened,' reflected Files.
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In the six-week break before the next round at his home track of Snetterton, Files returned to his trusty Triumph TR6, taking victory at Silverstone before another strong showing at Mallory where he broke several lap records.
The Snetterton races saw a more confident Files, who picked his way through the opening lap carnage with care to be on the tail of the leading group. He soon improved to fourth place and just after half distance moved into third place to secure his first podium position of the season.
'The biggest highlight of the year was the podium for the first time professionally at my home circuit, a moment I won't ever forget, and certainly the breakthrough,' added Files.
Race two saw the Norfolk racer take sixth place to cement his best weekend in the series and clinch the award for Best Driver of the Event before moving on to Rockingham Speedway in Corby.
Files followed his team-mate Jack Goff across the finishing line in the opening race and claimed the extra points for fastest lap in the process.
'I was fourth going into the hairpin but managed to pull back the positions as I went round the hairpin for the first time,' recalled Files. 'I tucked in behind Goff and then we started to pull away.'
Race two wasn't as kind with Files knocked out of the event on the opening lap with broken steering. Sixth and fifth places followed in the final two races at Brands Hatch to secure seventh place in the series and top newcomer.
'I would like thank everybody for their support and to Bacs Direct Debit for their excellent campaign to raise �160,000 for the Marie Curie Cancer Cares great Daffodil appeal,' said Files.