Josh Files remains in Renault Clio Eurocup title contention
- Credit: Archant
The latest event in the Renault Clio Eurocup appears to have distilled the title race down to three drivers, with Josh Files 16 points off the lead and four points ahead of third place.
The Poringland racer had never seen the Red Bull Ring in Austria before last weekend, but soon learnt the circuit to post the fastest testing time on Friday.
'I am not completely satisfied,' remarked the local driver. 'It's my first time on this track. The performance is there, which I am delighted about, but there's still a lot to gain in qualifying.'
Files was unable to match his Friday lap times during qualifying due to a mysteries turbo boost problem, and he was frustratingly left to start the races from sixth and fourth.
More frustration followed in the opening event with title rival Nicolas Milan finishing one place ahead in fourth while posting the fastest lap.
Massimiliano Pedala went on to take his second win of the weekend, and the lead in the series, in race two while Files ended second after a post-race penalty was applied to Thomas Fjordbach for exceeding the track limits.
'I started losing power every other lap and it got to the point where I was two and a half seconds off the pace I showed in practice, the leading pair just drove away from me in a straight line in the second race,' said Files. 'Even Renault Sport was baffled by the problem, but what Team Pyro and I have done in the last couple of weekends, overcoming our troubles and still taking solid points finishes, is just remarkable.'
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The series resumes at the Paul Ricard Circuit in France at the end of September, when Files' team hope to have cured the problem that blighted his trip to Austria.
• A month after narrowly failing to win the LMP2 category at the famous Le Mans 24-hour race Alex Brundle has signed up to contest another round-the-clock race at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium.
The King's Lynn racer is to join Fortec Motorsport and race their works-blessed Mercedes Benz SLS AMG at the end of the month.
'I'm really looking forward it,' Brundle said ahead of his GT major international debut. 'It's a bit of project of mine to do Spa and I'm pleased to add it to my World Endurance Championship season. I want to be able to say I've done well in one of the 24-hour races.'
Joining Brundle will be Mercedes' Karl Wendlinger and Formula Renault 3.5 racer Oliver Webb.