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Frustration in France for Norfolk racer Files as tyre change backfires

PUBLISHED: 12:25 09 May 2018

Josh Files on his way to a hard-fought fourth place at the Paul Ricard circuit in France with his Honda Civic. Picture: TCR Europe.

Josh Files on his way to a hard-fought fourth place at the Paul Ricard circuit in France with his Honda Civic. Picture: TCR Europe.

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Josh Files started his TCR Europe campaign off with a solid fourth place in the opening race, at the Paul Ricard Circuit in France, but a tyre gamble backfired in race two.

Adam Hatfield with the Aston Martin Vantage GT4 he took to a pair of second places in the opening GT Cup race at Donington Park. Picture: Adam HatfieldAdam Hatfield with the Aston Martin Vantage GT4 he took to a pair of second places in the opening GT Cup race at Donington Park. Picture: Adam Hatfield

“It was a tough weekend overall,” admitted Files. “I was a bit too cautious in the race two conditions, so I lifted when I shouldn’t have and sent my car sideways. It was my own fault, but that’s racing.”

The Poringland racer started his Honda Civic from fifth on the grid for the opening race, beaten by the pace of the Hyundai i30 and Seat Cupra TCR cars.

In the first race, Files made up one place on the opening lap and then drove an impressive defensive race, with up to six cars in line astern trying, without success, to displace the Honda right up to the chequered flag.

Light rain was falling as race two got under way with Files in the top three until he spun down to 13th on the second lap, shortly after the race was halted after Igor Stefanovski crashed heavily.

Files elected to change to rain tyres, but it was a wager which backfired as the circuit dried out, leaving the Honda Civic racer to trail home 15th.

Alex Brundle was disappointed not to make his World Endurance Championship LMP1 debut at last weekend’s Six Hours of Spa Francorchamps when the pair of CEFC TRSM Racing Ginetta G60-LT-P1’s were withdrawn from the Belgium event citing a lack of funding from a partner.

Adam Hatfield chalked up a pair of runner-up places in the opening round of the GT Cup, held at Donington Park, but was unable to clinch a victory.

“We pushed the Maserati GT4 car all the way and tried our hardest to get the win, but it just wasn’t meant to be this weekend so congratulations to them,” reflected the Cranworth racer.

Hatfield, who was sharing the Aston Martin Vantage GT4 car with Chris Murphy, started the first race, but the Maserati driver Freddy Nordstrom proved frustratingly just out of reach.

Murphy took the wheel of the Aston Martin in race two and again followed the Maserati – this time driven by Sam Randon – home.

For the longer third race the drivers team up, but once again the Hatfield/Murphy duo had to play second fiddle to the Maserati pairing.

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