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Rivett wins first Clio race.

JHR Developments' Paul Rivett took victory at his home circuit in round 19 of the 2008 ELF Renault Clio Cup at Brands Hatch.

He led home Y4HR Miracle Drywash Stancombe Vehicle Engineering's Niki Lanik who picked up a third podium finish of the season. Dave Newsham, making his debut in the championship with Amery Motorsport, finished third after a great drive in only his fourth outing in the car.

Pole-sitter Lanik was passed in the drag race to Paddock Hill Bend as Rivett took the lead. Newsham retained third place ahead of Double Six Racing's Rob Boston and Full Speed Racing's Phil Glew, contact between the pair resulting in each having slightly damaged steering for the 20-lap race.

Mardi Gras Motorsport's Gavin Pyper was the man to lose out in the early stages as he tried to pass Newsham round the outside at Druids hairpin but ran wide and fell to 13th. APO Sport's Alex Osborne was an early retirement, spinning on cold tyres at Surtees as he battled to hold off Total Control Racing's Alex MacDowall.

Lap four saw MacDowall pass TCR team-mate Jonathan Ridley-Holloway at Paddock Hill Bend for eighth place. The third TCR car, in the hands of Mike Robinson, set the fastest lap to that point to close on Coastal Racing's Carl Bradley.

At the head of the field, Rivett and Lanik were evenly matched in the early laps. Rivett earned two bonus championship points by setting the NGK fastest lap of the race at 53.367s to extend his lead to more than half a second. Just behind and now with a clear track ahead, MacDowall equalled Rivett's time exactly to close on Robinson and also score two bonus points.

Lanik hit back on the following lap in the lead battle, taking three-tenths of a second out of Rivett's lead. As an interesting side note, during the 2007 season when double former Clio Cup champion Rivett wasn't racing he acted as driver coach to Lanik and the pair were now going head to head around the 1.20-mile circuit.

Newsham was still driving well in third place to keep Boston and Glew at bay, taking a defensive line when necessary and dropping back from the leading pair. Bradley, Robinson and MacDowall were now running as one in the race for sixth. Lap 11 saw Team Pyro's Chris Rice pass Team Wood Racing's Lea Wood and on the following lap, Coastal's Stephen Tyldsley passed Pyper for 13th.

As Tyldsley gained another place on lap 16, Wood continued in the opposite direction as JHR's newcomer Max Hunter made a great pass at Graham Hill Bend. At the front, Lanik was once again beginning to reel in Rivett having fallen away for a few laps as their yo-yo battle continued.



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Sunset at Brands Hatch BTCC
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