Files strengthens his title claims before losing his spark in Holland

Josh Files in action in Holland. Picture: Gruppe C Photography

Josh Files in action in Holland. Picture: Gruppe C Photography - Credit: Archant

TCR Germany champion Josh Files has increased his grip on this year's title after recording another podium place – but was left frustrated after encountering electrical issues in race two.

George Russell at the Hungaroring. Picture: Zak Mauger

George Russell at the Hungaroring. Picture: Zak Mauger - Credit: Zak Mauger

In a chaotic opening race at the Dutch seaside circuit of Zandervoot, Files, from Poringland, managed to finish fourth on the road, but after a raft of penalties were handed out to 18 drivers he was promoted to third.

The Honda Civic driver made another lightning start, from eighth on the grid, battling for third place during the opening corners, but soon the safety car made its first of three appearances, shutting down the action.

A raft of accidents resulted in the race being effectively decided by a sprint to the flag, with rain now falling, which saw Files, who had chosen to change to wet weather tyres, make several passes which eventually led to another podium place in the series.

Files made another trademark strong start to be second at the start of race two, but was muscled out of the position just before the end of the opening lap. The safety car made an appearance on the third lap and when racing resumed the local racer lost his podium place and then gradually fell down the race order with an electrical problem to finish a disappointing 14th.

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George Russell endured a difficult weekend at the Hungaroring, failing to score any points towards his GP3 title chase, but still leads the series at the halfway point.

'Head is still held high,' said Russell. 'A problem out of our control ruined the weekend but there's no doubt we have the pace to bounce back.'

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Russell could only watch from the sidelines as his series lead was slashed after his car was stymied on the formation lap of race one.

'Didn't plan to be watching the race from here,' tweeted Russell in front of his team's TV set. 'Mechanical failure on the formation lap, these things happen. On to tomorrow.'

Starting last on the grid for race two, Russell made tremendous progress to be eighth after 12 racing laps but a clash with ART team-mate Jack Aiken, winner of the opening race, damaged his front wing which required replacement, but he did post the race's fastest lap as consolation.

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