Scuderia Vittoria aces hatful of points at Brands Hatch

Scuderia Vittoria scored some strong results from the opening round of the AirAsia Renault Clio UK Cup at Brands Hatch, with the team’s top-scoring driver James Dixon leaving the circuit well in touch with the title battle.The young Kent star, on his home ground, took a pair of sixth places and ended the weekend fourth in the championship, ahead of some of the other expected leading title contenders.Impressively, Dixon raced through from 12th on the grid for race one, and 10th for race two. In charging performances he made up numerous places with strong passing moves, and grabbed fastest lap in the opening race. That proved beyond him by a mere tenth of a second in race two, as damaged steering from hitting a kerb hampered his attack slightly.“I’m sensible in my approach,” he explained. “I know that points are crucial but managed to do four people down the inside into Clearways in the first race.”Team-mate Luke Wright scored the best result of Scuderia Vittoria’s weekend. The Dorset youngster raced to fourth in Saturday’s event from seventh on the grid, despite missing the official test session last month. “When the top 10 drivers are all racing around in the same tenth of a second on laptime, it’s so hard to break the tow from those behind, and you just end up having to defend for the whole race,” he said. “I’m pleased with that result though.”Wright made a storming start from sixth on the grid on Sunday, almost going abreast for the lead, but was unlucky to be tagged from behind. That spun him across the track and he was heavily collected by the chasing field, although he was uninjured apart from a headache.The One Call Insurance-backed Scuderia Vittoria team also saw its three Scottish drivers performing impressively. Former Scottish Mini Challenge champion Vic Covey Jr had a particularly strong debut weekend in the Clio Cup, taking a best result of ninth, which puts him ninth in the points.Team-mate Finlay Crocker finished just ahead of Covey in both races, but was unfortunate to be awarded a time penalty of five seconds for exceeding track limits, relegating him to a best result of 13th.Ronnie Klos, meanwhile, finished both races with a best result of 17th, a good result having missed the test two weeks ago, losing further track time during the pre-race test sessions on Friday and then sitting out half of qualifying because his fire extinguisher went off.Team director Danny Buxton, a former Clio Cup champion, said: “It was highs and lows for our first race weekend. Our cars are quick, as fastest lap proved in the first race. James bagged a load of points, and the crucial thing is he’s ahead of Paul Rivett and James Colburn, who we’re expecting to be major threats for the title. It was damage limitation after qualifying didn’t quite fall into place, and it will definitely be a fight to the end of the year.“Luke probably could have got a podium in the first race, but he has a very mature approach this year and he used his head. He’ll also be there or thereabouts for the title at the end of the year, and he was very unlucky in the second race.“Both of these guys got blocked in qualifying on their best laps – Luke lost a whole quarter of a second when he caught a slower car out of the last corner, otherwise he’d have been third on the grid.“For the three Scots it’s a whole new procedure of learning as they adapt to Clio racing. But both Finlay and Vic were running in the top 10 and I’m very pleased with their results, and after missing all that test time Ronnie was just a couple of tenths off them with his fastest lap in race two – that’s a really good effort.”As part of the ultra-popular British Touring Car Championship package, the AirAsia Renault Clio Cup enjoyed live coverage of its second race at Brands Hatch on ITV4 and ITV4 HD, and was streamed live at itv.com/touringcars. The series now moves on to Donington Park in Leicestershire for the second race weekend on April 14/15.

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