Rising star Joshua Files setting sights on the Touring Cars

Joshua Files is an ambitious young racing driver who after just two seasons of competition is aiming to reach the heights of the British Touring Car Championship.

The 19-year-old Poringland driver clinched the Thoroughbred Sports Car Championship with a blistering drive at Snetterton last weekend.

'I had a cracking race and loved every minute of it battling with a couple of D Class Morgan's,' said Files, who races his father's Triumph TR6 in Class C of the series.

On the back of his success this year, and a very encouraging mid- season test in a Renault Clio, the local racer has just signed up to contest the Renault Clio Cup next year which supports the BTCC race series. 'The aim is to race in the BTCC and Clios is an effective way into the series,' continued Files, who hopes to follow in the footsteps of BTCC race winner Tom Onslow-Cole and Philip Glew.

The classic Triumph TR6 and the modern Clio Cup car couldn't be more different, explained Files.

'The Clio is front-wheel drive while the TR6 is rear-wheel drive. The TR6 race on treaded tyres while the Clio wears slick tyres. The Clio is left-hand drive while the TR is right and has an H pattern gearbox while the Clio's gearbox is sequential.'

However, Files proved very adaptable and during his recent test drive at Oulton Park which he had only visited once before, he was quickly up to speed.

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'I did have an off-track excursion,' admitted Files who got faster as the day went along helped by the team explaining the data and how he could improve his lap times, which he did by finishing just half a second away from the best lap time put up by one of the current leading series racers. 'My aim is to be a consistent top five racer in the series next year,' said Files. who is still looking to top up his budget for next season.

The winter months will be used to not only glean greater knowledge of the Clio but to learn more circuits as the local racer hasn't experienced some of the tracks visited by the BTCC series.

'I haven't raced at Donington, Rockingham, Croft or Thruxton which is very fast and highly technical and will be a big challenge.'

Father Keith, himself an experience club-level racer, is very proud of his son who has not only proved to be quick behind the wheel of a racing car but also a fast learner. 'Last year we shared the car in two-driver events,' explained the older Files. 'He started off two seconds a lap slower than me but by the end of the season was a second quicker'.

'The only time he has damaged the car was in the wet at Silverstone.

'I had warned him to keep off the painted kerb as they are very slippery, and he found out I was right.'