Josh Files in double trouble at Spa-Francorchamps
PUBLISHED: 13:18 13 June 2018
TCR Europe racer Josh Files endured a rare pointless meeting in the latest round of the series held at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium, posting two retirements in his Hell Energy-supported Honda Civic.
The Poringland racer once more proved to be the fastest of the Honda races in qualifying, annexing seventh for race one and fourth for the second event.
The local racer made up a place at the start of the opening event before putting pressure on fifth-placed Stefano Comini, who was resisting Files’ attempts to advance until it all got messy on the fifth lap.
As Files and Comini raced towards Le Combes, Stian Paulsen tried to sneak past the pair of Hondas by diving for the inside line. With Comini on the outside the local racer had no place to go and the resulting clash put both Hondas out, with Files suffering a puncture.
To add insult to injury, Files was adjudged to have been at fault and was handed a reprimand and a suspended three-place grid drop by race officials.
“Stian came down the inside from nowhere. Comini was on the outside, and I couldn’t turn in because Paulsen was there. I just had nowhere to go,” said Files.
Files made a blistering start to race two and was quickly fighting Kris Richard for the lead, but an early safety car intervention halted his attack and when racing resumed Files’ Honda suffered an electrical glitch forcing a second retirement.
Dan Zelos was back at the sharp end of the Renault UK Clio Cup grid having qualified third for the latest round, at Oulton Park, but a podium place slipped out of his grasp. T
he Dereham racer was swamped at the start of race one and dropped to sixth, the position in which he finished as overtaking opportunities at the Cheshire Circuit are few and far between.
Starting race two from fourth on the grid the Everygreen Tyres-supported car made a reasonable start and went three wide at the first corner, but with the track narrowing on the exit he found himself squeezed onto the grass.
Holding on, Zelos re-joined in 10th place and made up a place to finish in ninth.
“A tough weekend but lots learnt and we keep improving,” was Zelos’ assessment of a frustrating meeting.