Photo: Jakob Ebrey

Paul Rivett: Leading newcomer “was the first goal”

Paul Rivett insisted that leading the four drivers carrying new driver ballast into the Snetterton weekend had been the “first goal” after qualifying in 20th place for his BTCC debut.

Rivett, the most successful driver in the history of the Renault Clio Cup, headed into the weekend on the back of a day of running in his Trade Price Cars Racing Audi S3 at the Norfolk circuit last week but faced a new challenge with the low temperatures that would have an impact on track action across the day.

Having just failed to break the two minute barrier in the single free practice session, Rivett improved his best time by more than a second in qualfying to break into the top 20 and finish half a second up on Jess Hawkins; the second best of those carrying the additional 45kg of weight in the Power Maxed Racing Vauxhall.

“That was my first goal and everyone seems happy with the job I’ve done, which seems a bit weird when I’m in P20 on the grid!” he said. “But the team think I’m doing well and I’m enjoying being here, as this is where I have wanted to be for a long time. I feel at home in the team already and think I’m gelling well; it’s certainly a nice place to be.

“The temperatures have been the toughest thing for me to deal with today, trying to get the heat into the car. We did a cross with the tyres at the start of the qualifying session which was important, and we did an extra lap to give me more confidence in the rear of the car. We’ll make a few changes ahead of tomorrow which should help us find more time and the goal is to keep progressing forwards; I’m relishing the opportunity.”

Rivett added that he was keen to try and move forwards across the three races on Sunday, although he insisted he wasn’t taking anything for granted.

“I think we’ll have a good race car and I need to stay out of trouble,” he said. “I’m looking forward to getting rid the 45kg of weight and want to move forwards in the three races. However, this is touring cars, so anything could happen…”