TCR VICTORIOUS IN CLIO AND GINETTA G50 AT BRANDS HATCH INDY James Dixon secured his first ever car racing victory at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit this afternoon, Saturday, 9th October, during round 19 of the ELF Renault Clio Cup -- a superb result...
TCR VICTORIOUS IN CLIO AND GINETTA G50 AT BRANDS HATCH INDY
James Dixon secured his first ever car racing victory at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit this afternoon, Saturday, 9th October, during round 19 of the ELF Renault Clio Cup -- a superb result for Total Control Racing with the team also celebrating race success in the Michelin Ginetta G50 Cup with Carl Breeze.
"It's fantastic to have won in Clios and Ginetta G50 today", said team principal Lee Brookes, "James did an outstanding job and he thoroughly deserved his win. For Carl, his win was very important to keep the championship alive. It's a tall order but we're all really looking forward to tomorrow."
Rookie racer Dixon, for whom Brands Hatch is his local track, was in outstanding form throughout the day after securing pole position for the final two rounds of the 2010 Clio Cup season -- his second and third pole starts of the campaign.
Getting a good start at the beginning of today's encounter, the 20-year-old held on to his lead into the first corner and saw off the challenge of fellow front-row starter Josh Cook. On lap six, Cook fell behind Paul Rivett and although the former double Clio Cup Champion applied immense pressure to Dixon for the rest of the race, the TCR man was unshakeable.
Only mere 10ths of a second separated the pair during the second half of the 20-lap race but Dixon didn't put a wheel wrong as he drove faultlessly to his debut win in the Clio Cup -- his first ever race victory in cars. Dixon's success also gave him another win in the Graduate Cup class and he only just missed out on the fastest lap of the race by just over 0.1 seconds.
"It's absolutely amazing to win and I couldn't have done it at a better place", said the Stockbury based driver, "It's been a fantastic weekend so far with both pole positions and my first win. Paul (Rivett) was closing in quickly and put me under a lot of pressure, I just had to keep it consistent and make no mistakes. Thanks to all my sponsors and everyone at TCR, it's an incredible result."
Team-mate Mike Robinson took a fine fourth place finish, a mere 0.2 seconds shy of the podium, which keeps the Surrey racer on course to try and reclaim fourth spot in the championship standings during Sunday's final round.
Qualifying on the second row of the grid alongside Rivett, Robinson slipped behind Colburn on lap one but when second placed starter Cook got out of shape at Clearways on lap six the TCR man made his way past back into the top four. Pressuring Colburn all the way to the chequered flag, Robinson just ran out of laps to try and grab his fourth rostrum of the year.
Car racing debutant Andy Jordan delivered a strong performance on his first ever outing to chip away more and more at his lap times. Remaining out of trouble throughout the race, the 19-year-old from Bridgnorth ended the encounter in 15th place.
In terms of the championship, Dixon goes into tomorrow's final race of the season within just four points of his target top six having gone into the event 22 points adrift. Robinson still has a chance to end the year fourth overall while Sam Tordoff -- who has graduated to the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at Brands Hatch this weekend -- has already secured third place.
Dixon and Robinson's great combined points total also means TCR now has a very realistic chance of winning the 2010 entrant's title having moved to within 17 points of the lead, having been 41 behind prior to this afternoon's race.
Breeze ensures G50 Cup title fight will go down to final day decider Carl Breeze did all that could have been asked of him during round 26 of the Michelin Ginetta G50 Cup this afternoon to keep the championship fight alive into the final day of the season tomorrow, Sunday, 10th October -- a tremendous effort in qualifying to secure a spot on the front row bettered by his eighth victory of the year.
Determined not to be denied a front-row start for such an important race, Breeze delivered one of his best qualifying laps of the season to take second place at the end of the session, just 0.018 seconds shy of pole position, even though his tyres had long since gone past their best.
In the race itself, he made a good getaway to hold second place behind pole-sitter Tom Sharp but during a six lap Safety Car period -- required after a multi-car tangle on the opening lap -- the leader suddenly slowed due to an electrical problem giving Breeze first place.
Seeing off the attentions of Benji Hetherington and Chris Dittmann when the encounter got back underway, the TCR driver didn't put a wheel wrong and claimed his eighth victory of the year to close Frank Wrathall's points lead down to 46.
Joachim Ritter had an eventful round 26 which, on lap one, certainly didn't look as though it would deliver a top 10 result. Having qualified 14th on the grid -- within just seven 10ths of a second of pole position -- the Switzerland based driver had to adopt avoiding action at Surtees on the first tour when the aforementioned multi-car tangle caused chaos.
Taking to the grass, a resulting spin dropped Ritter back down to 12th place but he fought back very impressively to climb intoninth position ahead of past podium finisher Phil Broad. In addition, Ritter's quickest lap of the race was better than that managed by championship leader Wrathall.
Brookes added: "Carl really pushed hard in qualifying and to do the time he did at the end when his tyres had gone was great. He really deserved the win, it's unfortunatehTom) Sharphad his problem but Carl did drive well. Joachim was very unlucky to be caught up in the trouble on lap one but he fought back well and his pace was great."
"In the Clios, James' win was obviously the highlight -- especially on (Paul) Rivett's track -- but Mike drove a great race and could have had a podium. We were very pleased with Andy's progress too, he's really come in at the deep end this weekend and he's done a superb job."
2010 ELF Renault Clio Cup Standings (after Rd19) Drivers: 3rd Sam Tordoff, 382pts; 5th Mike Robinson, 328pts; 7th James Dixon, 251pts Team: 2nd Total Control Racing, 832pts
2010 Michelin Ginetta G50 Cup Standings (after Rd26) Drivers: 2nd Carl Breeze, 655pts; 7th Joachim Ritter, 293pts Team: 3rd Total Control Racing, 1025pts