Files sweeps to victory in Hockenheim to lead series
PUBLISHED: 06:00 06 June 2019
Josh Files' domination of the opening race in the latest round of the TCR Europe series at the Hockenheim Circuit in Germany has elevated the Poringland racer to the head of the championship table.
"I'm completely overjoyed and slightly surprised by the weekend we have just had. I really didn't think we'd have this kind of pace," said an amazed Files.
The Free Practice sessions had proved that Files and the Target Competition Hyundai i30 N were competitive and the local racer subsequently secured pole position with a stunning early lap in session two.
Files continued his domination of the meeting in the opening race and after a blistering start he built a commanding lead which even a late safety car, which bunched the field up behind the local racer, couldn't disrupt with Files claiming the fastest lap to complete a perfect race.
The top 10 finishers in race one are reversed to make up the grid for race two with Files flying up to seventh by the end of the opening lap and then stole sixth place.
However, the safety car had been deployed and Files elected to give the position back before racing resumed falling to eighth place in the rough and tumble five car dispute for position.
"The guys at Target have done an amazing job extracting every last bit of performance from the car," claimed the new championship leader. "I did my best to get every last bit of performance from myself and as a result we far exceeded our expectations this weekend."
Dereham's Glenn Eagling recently debuted his newly acquired GRD 273 in the Aurora Trophy at Silverstone claiming a podium place in race two after being placed fifth in the earlier event.
It was the Griston built car's first race since contesting a Formula Two race in 1975 with most of the intervening years spent in a Swedish museum before being race prepared in Lifetime Racing's workshop in Weston Green.
"I swapped it for my Formula Three Ensign, sight unseen," admitted Eagling. "It's the first time I have driven an F2 car so it's taking a bit of time to get use to it but I'm really pleased with the outcome."
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Dan Eagling, Lifetime Racing's owner, continued his giant-killing act with the Mark Halstead owned Ginetta G4R in the Guards Trophy race at Silverstone.
The Mid Norfolk racer qualified the diminutive GT in a class leading 18th place in the dry but come the wet race Eagling showed off his talent.
A demon opening lap saw him gain nine places and three more before his mid race pit-stop which dropped him back to ninth once more.
Thereafter Eagling picked off the faster cars ahead of him to finish in an incredible fifth place overall and first of the GT cars home beating the much quicker TVR Griffith of Mike Gardiner/Dan Cox in the process.
"It's taken me 20 years," said a surprised Chris Levy upon his URS FF2000 victory at Snetterton, the King's Lynn racer's first race win on his home track.
The local driver had to catch and pass the fast starting Erik Pagano but was concerned about the rapid Ben Stiles, who had to start the race from the back of the grid after earlier problems.
"I was waiting for him to appear in my mirrors the whole time so didn't have time to reflect on taking victory," admitted Levy.
Meanwhile Adrian Langridge was racing to a comfortable second Classic Formula Three race win, having taken advantage of Paul Smith spinning away the lead in the first, much to the delight of the Mid Norfolk Lifetime Racing team of Dan Eagling.
Cameron Jackson's pair of Classic FF1600 race wins maintains his perfect record for the season while Kevin Kivlochan's AC Cobra decimated the field in both the Road Sport races.
The Ford Mustang of Jonathan Evans won then opening Touring Car race but wilting brakes allowed Richard Belcher to triumph in the sequel.