Rivett Completes Croft Double

In Round TenJHR Developments’ Paul Rivett (Banstead) ensured he took maximum points away from Croft circuit with a second victory of the weekend in round 10 of the 2008 ELF Renault Clio Cup. The double former champion led home Team Pyro’s Ben Winrow (Earls Barton) and Full Speed Racing’s Phil Glew (Alford) in a repeat of the round nine result.

Rivett set the fastest lap in each race to score a total of four bonus championship points, cutting Winrow’s lead in the drivers’ standings to 42 points at the halfway stage of the 20-race season.

A difficult day that saw torrential rain disrupt the running order of the British Touring Car Championship meeting of which Clio Cup is a support race meant round 10 took place at 17.30 rather than the scheduled 15.45. By the time the race started a dry racing line was established for the 12-lap race.

Pole-sitter Winrow held off the challenge of Rivett at the first corner as the pair ran side by side for much of the opening lap. Glew slotted into third with Y4HR Miracle Drywash Stancombe Vehicle Engineering’s Niki Lanik (Ashurst Wood) holding fourth ahead of APO Sport’s Alex Osborne (Northampton). Mardi Gras Motorsport’s Gavin Pyper (Fleckney) was sixth ahead of Coastal Racing’s Carl Bradley (Morecambe).

Further down the grid, contact between Mardi Gras’ David Dickenson (Keatingstown) and Amery Motorsport’s Jonathan Shepherd (Sandbach) saw both cars retire before reaching Clervaux for the first time, while a second incident saw P9 Raceshop/Range Storage’s Lee Pattison (Liversedge) and Team Pyro’s Neil Waterworth (Rochdale) retire on lap one. Amery’s David Shepherd (Sandbach) pitted at the end of the lap after running over debris at Hawthorn, before a spin at the chicane on lap two ended his race.

Winrow was exerting full effort in the early stages in an attempt to drive away from the field as he had done previously in the course of recording five wins this season. A huge slide at the Complex on lap two saw him concede some of his lead over Rivett, while Lanik chased Glew hard for the final podium spot.

Lap three saw Pyper pass Osborne after he had a slow exit from Tower Bend and Osborne then came under pressure from Bradley at the Hairpin at the end of the lap before Bradley was passed by Mardi Gras’ Árón Smith (Rathfarnham) as the Clio Cup drivers served up their usual course of thrill-a-minute racing.

On the run through Hawthorn on lap four, Bradley began to slide after running side by side with Smith before collecting the unfortunate Rob Boston (Doncaster) of Double Six Racing who was knocked out of ninth place on his home circuit. Further down the order, JHR Developments’ Steven Hunter (Dronfield), who started from the back of the grid after an electrical problem in qualifying, reached 16th place by lap four that became 13th place by lap six.

At the head of the field, Winrow continued to lead Rivett but was unable to open a significant advantage. As Glew and Lanik battled for third it allowed Pyper to close the gap in fifth, helped by setting the fastest lap of the race to that point on lap five. Lap six saw Rivett set a new lap record of 1min 33.008s (82.24mph) as he continued to pile pressure onto race leader Winrow.

The pressure told at the start of lap seven as Winrow clipped the kerb at Clervaux too hard, turning him sideways into a slide he did to recover. The loss of momentum allowed Rivett to sail through into the lead and consistent lap times from the 29-year-old saw him through to the chequered flag with little fuss.

After his earlier charge, Pyper began to drop away from third and fourth-placed Glew and Lanik, who remained seemingly joined together throughout the race with the Austrian unable to manufacture an overtaking opportunity. Lap eight saw Smith and Total Control Racing’s Jonathan Ridley-Holloway (Barnstaple) pass Osborne, while ninth-placed Nick Adcock (Bromyard) began to pull away from JD Pierce with Robertshaw Racing’s Derek Pierce (West Kilbride) and Team Wood Racing’s Lea Wood (Hereford).

On lap 10, Lanik came closer than ever to passing Glew for third place after getting a good run out of Tower Bend but Glew held his line into Jim Clark Esses to maintain the position. Their battle benefited Pyper who once again closed up to make it a three-way tussle for the final podium place.

The 12th and final lap saw Rivett extend his lead slightly to 1.5s over Winrow as Glew remained less than a car’s length ahead of Lanik. Confusion surrounded the end of the race as the chequered flag was not deployed at the end of the 12th lap. Rivett, believing the race was over, slowed to celebrate as he crossed the line and although the field continued racing for a further lap, the result was declared as it stood at the end of lap 12.

Just 0.308s separated Glew from Lanik in the race for third with Pyper also within one second of the podium, while a similar margin covered Smith and the fast-finishing Ridley-Holloway in sixth and seventh. Osborne took eighth after an eventful race ahead of Adcock with Pierce completing the top 10.

Commenting on the race, Paul Rivett said: “Ben got away a bit early on but I knew he was getting near the limit from the way the back of his car was moving around. It was a case of waiting for the mistake that eventually came and gifted me the win. This weekend was exactly what I needed from a championship point of view and hopefully I can do the same next week.”

Second-placed Ben Winrow said: “I’m a bit disappointed with myself for the slip but these things happen and it’s still a reasonable weekend with two second places. We did a lot of hard work in the early part of the season to build an advantage in the standings so there’s no real harm done.”

Third-placed Phil Glew said: “This has been a much better weekend for me with two podiums and I’m really pleased for my team and my sponsors who enable me to do this. It was a great race with Niki all the way through and I was trying everything to shake him off but he just kept on at me so it was a relief to get across the line in the end.”

Rounds 11 and 12 of the 2008 ELF Renault Clio Cup take place in just one week’s time at Silverstone Grand Prix circuit in support of the UK round of World Series by Renault.

2008 ELF Renault Clio Cup provisional drivers’ standings – round 10

1 Ben Winrow              GBR    Team Pyro                                          279 pts

2 Paul Rivett                GBR    JHR Developments                             237 pts

3 Phil Glew                  GBR    Full Speed Racing                               184 pts

4 Carl Bradley             GBR    Coastal Racing                                    151 pts

5 Árón Smith               IRL      Mardi Gras Motorsport                        135 pts

6 Niki Lanik                 AUT     Y4HR Miracle Drywash with SVE       119 pts

7 Mike Robinson         GBR    Total Control Racing                           114 pts

8 Alex MacDowall       GBR    Total Control Racing                           105 pts

9 Robert Gaffney         GBR    EPS UK with Robertshaw Racing       104 pts

10 Gavin Pyper           GBR    Mardi Gras Motorsport                        96 pts

ELF Renault Clio Cup races available to view online at www.renaultsport.co.uk

For all the latest ELF Renault Clio Cup Championship news visit the official Renault Sport UK website www.renaultsport.co.uk

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