Poringland racer Josh Files marks Imola debut with a victory
- Credit: Archant
Josh Files finally broke his victory duck with a dominating win in the opening round of the Renault Eurocup Clio Championship in Italy and followed it up with second place in race two.
'It has been a great weekend, we're leading the championship and can only hope to carry this momentum on to the next round at Spa,' said the Poringland racer.
Files headed to Italy having never raced the new Clio or seen the Imola circuit. But he soon dispelled any fears he may have had by posting the fastest time in free practice.
For the opening race Files started in fifth place and while those around him faltered he remained calm and steadily made progress to finally take the lead on the ninth lap.
'I'm very happy,' said a delighted Files, celebrating his first Clio win. 'The car responded perfectly despite the tricky conditions. My pace was great and I didn't make any mistakes.
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'When I took the lead I just tried to pull away, and I'm absolutely thrilled with my first victory. I'm starting on the front row in this afternoon's race, which means I'll be in with a chance of winning again.'
Files was beaten into third place at the start or race two but Thomas Fjordbach was quickly deposed of second place leaving the local racer to attack race leader Massimiliano Pedala who kept Files at bay to the chequered flag as Fjordbach faded.
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'Massimiliano wasn't faster than me but he knew where to put himself and keep the door shut. I was trying to get past him for the whole race and I couldn't take advantage of the one mistake he made,' explained Files.
'I'm happy with the result, especially as it leaves me in the lead in the championship, which I didn't expect when I came here because I didn't know the track or the car.'
• 'Second again for us, frustratingly close to the top step. It will come. Really good job again,' was Alex Brundle's summing up of his latest race in the World Endurance Championship.
The King's Lynn racer was competing at the Belgium Spa circuit and watched team mate Olivier Pla take an early lead which the Oak Racing Morgan Nissan team only relinquished at the first pit stop
As the six hour race headed into the second half Brundle was giving chase to the second placed Jota Zytek Nissan but the leading Nicolas Minassian led Oreca Nissan proved just out of reach even when they suffered a late puncture.
Norwich Locost racer Richard Jenkins had to settle for two runner up places in the latest races in the highly competitive sports car series to Alistari Garrett.
The pair had swapped the lead three times on the final lap of race two but come the chequered flag the local racer found himself in the same position, looking at Garrett's boot lid, as he had in the first.