Newly-crowned Renault Eurocup Clio Champion Josh Files rounded-off a remarkable season with a hard-fought podium finish, sealing the Teams’ title for Team Pyro after an intense tussle (3 November).
Files, who became a double Champion after adding the 2013 Eurocup Clio title to his resumé on Saturday (2 November), has notched up 19 podium finishes – including six race wins – from 28 races contested both in the UK and Europe this season.
The Norwich-based 22-year old has been on the crest of a wave for the last three weeks, carrying a great deal of momentum and confidence to Motorland Aragon after clinching the UK Clio Cup crown at Brands Hatch in October.
He lit up the timing screens during free practice and qualifying at the Spanish circuit to nab pole position for Round 12 on Sunday (3 November) and, with it being the final race of the season, he was determined to have some end of term fun.
In a repeat of Saturday’s race, a relatively slow start saw Files lose the lead to his fellow front-row starter Thomas Fjordbach.
The Team Pyro contender clung on to the Dane’s coattails for the duration of the opening lap, before pouncing on the next visit to Turn 1.
Fjordbach got the better of Files at the exit of the left-hander, but finally relinquished first place when the new Eurocup Clio Champion made a carbon-copy manoeuvre stick at the start of lap three.
An error at the tight Turn 16 hairpin demoted Polar Seafood Racing’s Fjordbach to third behind Ivan Pulic, who then himself began reeling in Files for the lead.
The pair went door handle-to-door handle in a tense, yet fairly fought tussle and Files was eventually forced to concede the position to his Croatian counterpart before going super-defensive against a resurgent Fjordbach.
Pulic was untroubled out front for the remaining laps as the fight for second place intensified.
Files and Fjordbach traded places constantly in a prolonged battle to the flag, the brawling pair crossing the finish line together with Fjordbach edging out Files for second place by just three thousandths of a second (+0.030s).
“I had a lot of fun out there although the race is a complete blur, in all honesty,” said Files. “I really wanted to have a good time in that race with the championship already in the bag and my battles with Thomas Fjordbach and Ivan Pulic were just awesome. We were all respectful and gave each other enough racing room, so the driving standards were high. I thought I would be able to stay in touch with Pulic, but it turned out that he had more grip than I did.
“I wasn’t going to do anything silly. I knew I had to get a respectable finish to seal the Teams’ title for Team Pyro and third place was enough to do it. The guys deserve every bit of success, having worked so hard to give me such great equipment in both the UK Clio Cup and the Eurocup. I can’t thank them enough or express what it means to me.”