Josh Files unable to make most of qualifying speed at Assen
- Credit: PHOTO 4
Despite posting the fastest lap in qualifying for the latest round of the TCR Europe Championship, Josh Files failed to turn his speed into a podium position.
However, a four-place grid penalty from the previous round saw the Poringland racer start the opening race at the Dutch TT Assen circuit from the second row with his Hell Energy Drinks-supported Honda Civic.
'I am very happy how things went,' said Files. 'However, it's a bittersweet feeling as I will start from P4 because of the penalty but it's always nice to win pole.'
Files made his customary demon start to be placed third at the opening corner, a position he held until the middle of the race when the leading runners all bunched up.
Sadly, a move by the following Kris Richard, which was investigated by the race officials who took no action – to the displeasure of the local racer – pushed the Honda wide and down the race order to sixth place.
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Files did manage to gain a position back before fading to 10th place with an ailing car affected by a steering problem.
Race two proved even worse for Files, who was forced to retire on the second lap and therefore falls from fourth place in the series to seventh with just two more rounds remaining.
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Dereham's Dan Zelos will be taking part in this weekend's Mini Festival at Brands Hatch with the local racer making his debut in the Mini Challenge series.
The local racer has swapped his Renault Clio Cup car for the 265bhp Mini, shod with Dunlop slick racing tyres and a sequential gearbox, and he has high hopes of a top placing after a positive test session at the Kent track.
'In many respects, the Mini felt very similar to the Mercedes BTCC car I tried out a couple of years ago in the way it handles and rides the kerbs,' remarked Zelos.
'It's not as quick around the corners as my Clio, but it is very fast in a straight line with an aim to finish somewhere inside the top five.
'I've kept a close eye on the championship to get a feel for the opposition, and it's certainly not going to be a walk in the park.
'Like me, these are up-and-coming drivers with very solid British Touring Car ambitions and some, like Ant Whorton-Eales, even have BTCC experience.'