DOUBLE DELIGHT FOR DIXON ON KNOCKHILL DEBUT ELF Renault Clio Cup racer James Dixon leapt into the championship top seven at Knockhill Circuit in Scotland on Sunday, 5th September, thanks to a pair of fantastic fourth place finishes --...
DOUBLE DELIGHT FOR DIXON ON KNOCKHILL DEBUT
ELF Renault Clio Cup racer James Dixon leapt into the championship top seven at Knockhill Circuit in Scotland on Sunday, 5th September, thanks to a pair of fantastic fourth place finishes -- impressively capping off an excellent debut appearance at the challenging 1.27-mile Fife track.
Although just missing out on an overall top three finish in each of the weekend's 22-lap encounters, the Stockbury-based saloon car rookie won the Graduate Cup class on both occasions -- therefore making a welcome return to the podium -- and also set the fastest lap during Saturday's 15th round.
At the point of posting the quickest lap during the opening race James smashed the long-standing lap record of Jason Templeman, which had stood since 2002, with a time of 57.840 seconds (79.12 mph) but this was unfortunately eclipsed in round 16 by a further 10th of a second.
Nonetheless, the 20-year-old's tremendous performance throughout the weekend marked his second best event of the season so far -- only his double podium success at Snetterton in Norfolk last month has, up to now, reaped a bigger haul of points.
"I'm over the moon with the way everything has gone to be honest, I've never been to Knockhill before so to come away with two Graduate Cup class wins, a strong qualifying performance and a move into the championship top seven is a great result", said James, "Getting the fastest lap, and the new lap record at that point, in the first race was fantastic.
"We did struggle a bit with some oversteer at the start of the weekend but, as I keep saying, I'm still learning how to drive a front-wheel drive car and how to get the best from it. I'm getting more and more used to it though and, importantly, we're getting good results too. It's been a great weekend."
James was the best of the Total Control Racing drivers during qualifying after securing fourth place on the grid for both races, ending the session just three 10ths of a second shy of newly crowned Clio Cup Champion Dave Newsham's pole position effort.
Round 15 didn't begin as James wanted when he was pushed back to fifth by a fast-starting Jake Packun and he then slipped to sixth on lap two behind team-mate Sam Tordoff. His pace was strong though and into the hairpin on lap five, James avoided contact between Packun and Tordoff to steer his ABP Heating and Weidmuller-backed Clio into fourth place.
After posting the fastest lap on the seventh tour, the Kent racer held off the challenge of James Colburn very well indeed during the closing stages and at the finish took fourth and the Graduate Cup win by 0.2 seconds.
Sunday's encounter started in similar fashion, James pushed back to fifth after Tordoff made a great start from sixth on the grid, but he soon started to pressurise returning multiple Renault Clio Cup Vice-Champion Ed Pead for fourth as the race got into its stride.
Running in a tight pack of cars all vying for the final podium spot, James took fourth on lap 11 at the hairpin at the expense of Tordoff who, seconds earlier, had been passed by Pead. Fending off experienced team-mate Mike Robinson to the finish, James once again earned the Graduate win.
Next on the ELF Renault Clio Cup calendar is a visit to the home of the British Grand Prix, Silverstone in Northamptonshire, for the penultimate event of the season. Taking place two weeks from now, 18th/19th September, the Clio Cup will join the World Series by Renault package for its annual stand-alone event away from its regular slot on the British Touring Car Championship support bill.
-source: james dixon PR