Josh Files forced to deal with weighty issues in Holland
- Credit: Archant
Josh Files had a comfortable lead to defend in the TCR German Championship as he headed to Holland – but atrocious weather brought a halt to the second race and to his attempts to wrap up the title.
The Porlingland racer had a 55-point advantage over the field prior to the Dutch races, held at the seaside Zandvoort circuit, and if he maintained a similar cushion prior to the final round he would be crowned champion.
The weekend started well for the local racer and after he had shown scintillating pace in free practice, the Honda Civic racer planted his Target Competition-prepared car on pole.
With Harald Proczyk, Files' closest rival in the title race, only able to qualify in ninth place the weekend was going to plan.
Files led away the opening race, but it was quickly brought under control of the safety car, and then stopped, to assist the recovery of a stranded car.
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When the race resumed Files was still in control, despite the 30kg of success ballast the series leader was having to carry, but the extra weight was telling as he had a train of cars in his wheel tracks.
Starting the final lap Files was just hanging on to his lead, but almost within sight of the finish line Antti Buri stole victory away from the Norfolk racer.
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'I had too much oversteer at the start and should have had a better car at the end, but the race was essentially a four-lap race,' said Files.
With the top 10 from qualifying reversed for the race two grid, Proczyk started from the front row, despite finishing on Files' boot lid in race one, with the Norfolk racer ninth on a track which was suffering from heavy overnight rain.
A demon start saw Files up to sixth, but with many of his rivals unable to keep their cars on the tarmac the safety car appeared three times before the race was halted.
When racing resumed, for just a single lap, there was little Files could do to improve his position so had to settle for sixth place while title rival Proczyk was able to take victory.
'The race today shouldn't have started,' said a perplexed Files.