James Dixon - Clio CupAirAsia Renault Clio Cup UK race winner James Dixon is confident of making a return to the top step of the podium at Cheshire’s Oulton Park next weekend, 4th/5th June, when the 2011 season resumes following a five week hiatus.

The 21-year-old, from Stockbury in Kent, heads into rounds seven and eight of the ultra-competitive championship prepared for a tough challenge but having secured two race wins so far in 2011, along with a further podium, he is currently an impressive second in the driver standings.

In addition to his runner-up spot in the overall points table, the ABP Heating, Weidmuller and The Art of Decorating-backed racer also leads the inter-championship ‘Graduate Cup’ battle by six points having secured three class wins so far.

Spearheading the 2011 attack for multiple Clio Cup title winners Total Control Racing, James has made outstanding progress over the past year. In little more than 12 months since debuting in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship support category he has become a major title threat.

While the previous event at Thruxton in Hampshire wasn’t quite the success James had hoped for, he still managed to pick up fourth and sixth place finishes in the two races to keep the pressure on points leader – and vastly experienced former double champion – Paul Rivett.

“I’ve had a great start to the season and it’s only going to get better”, said James, “I have a strong car beneath me for Oulton and I’ve got a lot of faith we can come back to our winning ways. I’ve only been competing in Clios for just over a year now but the team and I have achieved so much.

“I am ready for the tough fight for the championship, I think my mind is stronger than ever and I have no pressure on me – I just want to win. I know if I want to be racing next year I need the results. I’m aiming for a top drive in BTCC next year and I will do everything I can to succeed in the Clio Cup and try and secure the funding I need to make the step-up.”

Following officially timed testing on Friday, 3rd June, qualifying for rounds seven and eight of the AirAsia Renault Clio Cup UK will take place at 11.25 on Saturday, 4th June, with the first race of the weekend following at 16.30.

Round eight – which will be screened live throughout the UK on Freeview, digital satellite and cable channel ITV4, on ITV4 HD and also streamed online at www.itv.com/touringcars – will get underway at 15.10 on Sunday, 5th June.

For everyone at TCR the Oulton Park weekend will be one for quiet reflection as it will mark the first event since the very sad and untimely passing earlier this month of much-missed team director Graham Pearce. With that in mind, James is more determined than ever to claim at least one win next weekend to enable him to dedicate the success to Graham’s memory.

Provisional 2011 AirAsia Renault Clio Cup UK Championship Standings (after Rd6):
1st Paul Rivett, 161pts; 2nd James Dixon, 140pts

Photo by Jakob Ebrey Photography.