DIXON ENDS FIRST HALF OF CAMPAIGN WITH SEASON'S BEST FINISH ELF Renault Clio Cup rookie James Dixon rounded out the first half of the 2010 season with his best result of the campaign so far at Croft Circuit on Sunday, 20th June, and hopes the ...
DIXON ENDS FIRST HALF OF CAMPAIGN WITH SEASON'S BEST FINISH
ELF Renault Clio Cup rookie James Dixon rounded out the first half of the 2010 season with his best result of the campaign so far at Croft Circuit on Sunday, 20th June, and hopes the great progress made so far will assist in securing some much-needed backing during the seven-week summer break.
Racing for renowned Clio Cup squad Total Control Racing, the Stockbury-based driver has impressed since switching from single-seaters to saloon car competition and at Croft's challenging 2.12-mile track over the weekend he achieved a fine seventh place finish during round 10.
In recent weeks, James has been impressively quick during the two official tests which were held and in North Yorkshire at the weekend he steered his Candy Carriers and Weidmuller-supported Clio to ninth on the grid for the first of the weekend's races, round nine. Such was the competitiveness of the session, he was within a mere 0.3 seconds of the second row of the grid.
Unfortunately though, the first race only lasted four corners for James as contact at Tower Bend on the opening lap resulted in his first retirement of the campaign. Managing to make his way back to the pits, the damage to the car was too severe to get him back out on track.
Fully committed and determined to make amends in round 10 on Sunday -- which was screened live across the UK on ITV4 -- the Kent racer came through strongly at the start and avoided a multi-car tangle at the first corner well to move into seventh position ahead of a short Safety Car period.
Lapping within four 10ths of a second of podium pace, James remained in the top seven throughout the 13-lap encounter to claim his best result of the season. From the six races he has contested so far this year, other than Saturday's enforced retirement he has never finished lower than ninth.
Reflecting on the weekend, he said: "Race two was good, I was happy with the finish and I feel we made good progress throughout the event. It's all about gaining more and more experience but I'm confident things are improving each time we're in the car. It's also great to have two really quick team-mates to chase -- I want to be where they are, fighting for podiums, by the end of the year.
"In practice we did struggle with overall grip, mainly at the rear on corner entry, and this was my first experience of oversteer in a Clio so it was a bit of a challenge. We sorted the car for the second session though but it did mean we were behind the game somewhat heading into qualifying. That went well though, no hiccups, but we did miss the window for the new tyres when it started to rain."
British Touring Car Championship Dixon's career goal Following the long, seven-week break which is now underway, rounds 11 and 12 of the ELF Renault Clio Cup will kick-off the second half of the season over the weekend 7th/8th August at Snetterton Circuit in Norfolk.
James will be making best use of the time away from the track to try and secure extra funding for the remainder of the current season and to also attract backers with an eye on supporting a rising young talent with the goal of graduating to the country's biggest series, the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship, which offers a wealth of benefits to drivers' commercial partners.
James added: "I want to say a big thank you to Kris Wagland at Weidmuller for his support at Croft, I really appreciate the effort he has put in and I hope it's the beginning of a rewarding relationship. During the next seven weeks, I'm going to be working as hard as ever to try and attract additional sponsorship to help my climb up the Clio grid and my goal of stepping-up to the BTCC."