Paul Rivett made a terrific start to the 2018 Renault UK Clio Cup season at Brands Hatch, picking up a win and a second place.
But, despite the success in the races, his meeting got off to a terrible start. Three-time Clio champion Rivett was limited to just a handful of laps in Friday practice as an actuator problem left him on the sidelines.
“I won’t bother with Friday testing now!” joked Rivett, after he then turned his weekend around. “What it did do was it allowed me to watch the second session and that was useful.”
Rivett’s fightback began in qualifying. It was his first dry running on the latest specification of Michelin tyre and he was able to secure fourth and sixth place grid slots.
But Rivett really came alive at the start of the opener. He stormed all the way round the outside of Paddock Hill Bend, up Hailwood’s Hill and through Druids to pass Jack McCarthy and Sam Osborne to take second.
The race was then red-flagged with Brett Lidsey upside down in the barriers and, on the restart, Rivett was again looking menacing. On the second lap he dived down the inside of leader Max Coates and began to eke out a gap.
But Coates soon reeled him in and lunged up the inside from a long way back at Druids. This served to damage his car and allowed Rivett to take a comfortable win.
“I had two great starts which is quite unusual for me,” said WDE Motorsport driver Rivett. “I think I’m getting the hang of how to start these cars, whatever the track conditions!”
He again made a good start in the second contest and was up to third by lap two before being forced wide at Graham Hill Bend and dropping to sixth. But Rivett quickly fought back and eventually claimed second with a move on McCarthy at Clearways.
“We leave here leading the championship and I’m determined to get that fourth title this year,” he said. “I’m so confident and I’m really up for it.”
Rivett will seek to continue his good start to his 2018 season at Donington Park on April 28/29.