Paul was back to his best at Oulton Park with a double pole position, a race win and a podium that extended his championship lead to 22 points.
It was a hot and sunny Oulton Park that greeted Paul on the Friday test day. Paul was eager to get back into the car after a disappointing last round at Thruxton and was straight on the pace, setting 5th and 6th fastest times while focusing on getting the car setup right for the qualifying and,races over the weekend.
In qualifying Paul stormed to the top of the time sheets and produced to near identical laps to secure pole for both races. After qualifying Paul commented
“We had a bad one at Thruxton so this is maybe a role reversal with Josh [Files] being a bit further down the order in qualifying here”, said Rivett, “I’m sure he’ll race through from where he is, I may be starting on pole for both races but this is the Clio Cup – anything can happen. There aren’t any points for qualifying!
“It’ll be a tight dash to the first corner, hopefully I can lead through there and then see if I can hold it to the end of the lap and sort it out from there. Colin [Stancombe] isn’t here this weekend but, in all fairness to him, he has set-up the car and it’s all credit to him. It’s so close here this weekend, but it always is in these cars.”
It was, once again, hot conditions that greeted Paul as he lined up in the pole position slot for race 1.
Paul made a great start and was able to hold first place going into the first corner. This is where he stayed until the chequered flag but it was anything but an easy victory with Stefan Hodgetts constantly putting Paul under pressure.
“Of all the people to have behind you in the Clio field, Stef [Hodgetts] is probably the hardest and he didn’t make that easy by any means at all”, commented Rivett, “I had to defend from him into the last corner of the last lap, otherwise I knew he’d really be trying to stick it up the inside.
“It’s a great win, lights-to-flag, and I got a cracking start. Hopefully we can do more of the same tomorrow and control it from the front. It’s going to be tough to do it again but if I can get another start like that, it’s half the battle.”
Pulling up to the line for the start of race two of the weekend Paul realised there was something wrong with the car but he hoped that it would not stop him in his pursuit of another victory.
Unfortunately as the lights went out his clutch was slipping causing him to make a slow getaway. He was still able to slot into second at the first corner and set off after Hodgetts who had come through from 4th on the grid.
Paul was trying to find a way past but while trying to go round the outside at the old hairpin Alex Morgan was able to get up the inside and into 2nd place. Paul set about trying to re take the place but he was also coming under increased pressure from 4th placed Giddings.
A red flag brought the race to an end on lap 12 with Paul in 3rd position but he has increased his championship lead to 22 points.
After the race Paul commented “It was probably quite lucky I didn’t slip any further back at the start to be honest, once we got going in the race it was OK but at the start the clutch just didn’t bite and that really cost us.
“When Alex [Morgan] got by at the hairpin it was my mistake, I shouldn’t have gone to the outside of Stef [Hodgetts] – I was desperate to get the lead back after the clutch slip though! Championship wise we’ve got another podium, more points and we’ve extended the lead even more. It goes without saying, a huge thank you to all my fantastic sponsors as usual.”