UK: James Dixon Croft preview

TIN-TOP CONVERT DIXON AIMING FOR SEASON'S BEST AT CROFT Kent racing driver James Dixon heads to Croft Circuit in North Yorkshire this weekend, 19th/20th June, aiming for season's best results during the ninth and 10th rounds of the ELF Renault...

TIN-TOP CONVERT DIXON AIMING FOR SEASON'S BEST AT CROFT

Kent racing driver James Dixon heads to Croft Circuit in North Yorkshire this weekend, 19th/20th June, aiming for season's best results during the ninth and 10th rounds of the ELF Renault Clio Cup.

The 20-year-old, originally from Margate but now residing in Stockbury, has made a strong impact on the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship-supporting category so far. In just four races he has secured a trio of ninth place finishes and a best result of eighth just over a week ago at Oulton Park.

Agreeing a deal to drive with multiple championship winning team Total Control Racing in time for the second event of the year at Rockingham, James made an excellent debut. His initial progress was impacted though at the next event, the championship's first visit of the season to Brands Hatch, when an unfortunate accident during pre-event practice ruled him out of the weekend's races.

Bouncing back superbly on the two official test days during the three-week break before the most recent race meeting at Oulton Park, James seriously impressed. Posting the second fastest time overall at Silverstone's newly configured Grand Prix Circuit, at Snetterton a week later he was second fastest again -- a mere 0.097 seconds adrift of TCR team-mate Sam Tordoff.

Last weekend's action at Oulton Park resulted in the saloon car rookie's best finish so far in Clios, eighth place during round seven, but James has his sights squarely set on further improvements at Croft just a few days from now.

"I'm really enjoying working with such an established and successful team as TCR", he said, "So far we've shown some very promising test times and it was just such a shame we had the accident during the practice at Brands Hatch. Everything was going fantastically well up until that point -- still, we showed what we could do!

"Since then, we had a good run at Oulton Park and I'm hoping for our best weekend yet in Clios at Croft next time out. TCR is the first team I've worked with in my career which has so much potential and communication between the drivers, I'm thoroughly enjoying my new career direction in saloons and I'm going to take full advantage of the opportunity."

Following a stellar karting career with success at home and in Europe, James made his car racing debut in the ranks of Formula Renault in 2008. Due to escalating budgets in single-seater racing though, the Candy Carriers-backed racer sensibly made the decision to turn his attention to more cost effective 'tin-top' action with a switch to the Renault Clio Cup for 2010.

"In terms of racecraft, I'm still learning how to adapt to the tin-tops as a completely different approach is required from single-seater racing", added James, "I've also found conserving tyres for the duration of the races to be quite challenging due to the cars being front-wheel drive and my past experience being rear-wheel drive.

"It's a big plus for me to have two quick, experienced team-mates like Sam (Tordoff) and Mike (Robinson) as we're able to share data and information. All of this has really benefitted me so far this season and the aim now is to keep building on that and moving forward."

Pre-event practice for the Croft race meeting will take place on Friday, 18th June, with qualifying and round nine following on Saturday, 19th June, and round 10 -- which will be screened live on Freeview, cable and digital satellite channel ITV4 -- scheduled for Sunday, 20th June.

-source: jamesdixon.co.uk

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Series General
Drivers Sam Tordoff