Misfiring problems fail to halt Files as he claims TCR crown in Bahrain

Josh Files and team on the podium in Bahrain. Picture: Andrew Lofthouse

Josh Files and team on the podium in Bahrain. Picture: Andrew Lofthouse - Credit: Archant

Josh Files claimed his second TCR title after a dominant display in the final round of the inaugural Middle East Championship.

Josh Files leading the race in Bahrain. Picture:Andrew Lofthouse

Josh Files leading the race in Bahrain. Picture:Andrew Lofthouse - Credit: Archant

'It's great to take the championship with a double win,' reflected the Poringland racer after taking the chequered flag for the second time at the Bahrain International Circuit to clinch the crown.

The local racer missed the opening round of the mini-series, but he was in dominant form in the second round with two stunning victories which put him in contention for the title to add to his TCR German crown.

Reunited with the Lap57-run Honda Civic, Files narrowly claimed pole position for race one, despite having to carry a load of success ballast owing to his previous successes.

'It has been a very close and exciting session, and it's nice to win a pole like this,' declared Files, who moved to within nine points of the championship lead after claiming the top spot.

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Not everything went right, though, as Files explained.

'We changed a lot of things in the set-up and it worked well,' he said.

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'The only thing we haven't been able to solve is this tedious misfiring on the main straight, which costs me a hundredth of a second every time it occurs.'

Before the start of race one, Files' job was made a little bit easier as rival Davit Kajaia was unable to start the race alongside the local racer after his Alfa Romeo's driveshaft broke.

A blinding start saw Files take the lead which he would not relinquish to claim a hat-trick of victories in the series, putting him just two points off the series lead.

'It was a very hard race on the tyres,' Files said. 'There was nothing left of them and in the final laps, I had no grip, no traction, no nothing.'

Files made another brilliant start in race two to grab the lead by the first corner, despite the reversed grid, and thereafter his title rivals were playing catch-up.

'The entire weekend was about tyres, and I am very happy that we took the decision to save new tyres for the races,' added Files. 'In both races the tyres were completely dead at the end. Otherwise, the car performed very well, although we could never solve the misfiring problem we had throughout the weekend.'

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