RACE WINNER DIXON TO MOUNT CLIO CUP TITLE CHALLENGE WITH TCR
ELF Renault Clio Cup race winner James Dixon is to remain with Total Control Racing for the 2011 season after today, Wednesday, 26th January, confirming a deal to spearhead the squad's attack on the prestigious British Touring Car Championship feeder category.
The 20-year-old, who lives in Stockbury, Kent, was a genuine revelation during his maiden season of 'tin-top' action last year and produced a superb series of performances to finish his debut campaign sixth in the driver standings with two wins to his credit.
Dixon's efforts during the championship finale at his home track, Brands Hatch Indy Circuit, were of particular note -- two outstanding drives from pole position, under immense pressure from multiple Clio Cup Champion Paul Rivett, sealed his maiden race victories in tremendous style.
Heading into the 2011 season, which will begin at the aforementioned Brands Hatch track over the weekend 2nd/3rd April, as one of the front-running favourites for title success, Dixon has high hopes for his second year in the category. In addition, he was recently named by respected motor racing publication Motorsport News as one of the '50 drivers to watch in 2011'.
"We had an incredibly strong first season in Clios, mainly down to being with such a professional and successful team as TCR", commented the Weidmuller and ABP Heating backed racer, "The desire to win within the team is so strong, settling for second is non-existent and that's why TCR has won so many races and championships over the years.
"Lee (Brookes -- TCR team principal and 1995 Clio Cup Champion) is a huge inspiration and has really developed me into an all-round driver, hence the two wins last year. He runs a fantastic team and I'm absolutely delighted to continue our relationship. The aim is to take the title this year and I am feeling confident. Now we need to work hard to try and secure additional funding."
Wednesbury based TCR has long been known as a true breeding ground of saloon car talent and the team's most recent Clio Cup Champions, Jonathan Adam and Tom Onslow-Cole, both progressed into the ranks of the BTCC.
Consistently at the sharp end of the title battle in the Clio Cup each and every season, the squad is hungry to reclaim championship honours and team boss Brookes is confident Dixon has what it takes to return the driver's title to the TCR trophy cabinet.
"James improved massively throughout last season", said Brookes, "Even though he came into the championship after the first two rounds and then had to miss the first Brands Hatch weekend he still ended the year in the top six and that underlines his pace, performances and consistency.
"We're very happy he's remaining with us for 2011 in Clios as we're sure he has what it takes to win the championship. James is a very talented young driver and reminds me very much of Jonny Adam and Tom Onslow-Cole in his approach. We're sure his two wins from last season are just the start."
In 2011, as part of a series of changes to the organisation of the championship, the ELF Renault Clio Cup will be contested over 16 races. Following the opening two rounds at Brands Hatch in April, the category will visit Donington Park, Thruxton, Oulton Park, Croft, Snetterton, and Rockingham before coming to a conclusion back at Brands Hatch on 1st/2nd October.
As ever, the British Touring Car Championship support series will receive superb live, and highlights, television coverage on ITV4 and for the first time the action will also be broadcast in full High Definition on the new ITV4 HD channel.