Sutton will race for the factory MG/Triple Eight squad and his team-mate will be another recent UK Clio Cup star – 2014 runner-up Josh Cook who also runs his own team for up-and-coming drivers in the French manufacturer’s single-model championship.
And Sutton, like many before him, has been vocal in why he believes Renault Sport’s top racing category is the place to be for career-minded drivers targeting a future in touring cars.
Sutton commented: “The UK Clio Cup is route number one – if you want to be a BTCC driver you need to be in a UK Clio Cup car. It’s the first place the BTCC teams look.
“The car is like a mini touring car and of course it is front-wheel-drive like most of the cars on the BTCC grid so you can simulate the driving style. Plus the racing is bumper-to-bumper – similar to the BTCC – so you feel comfortable making the jump and the competition is very intense so you learn how to look after yourself and handle situations.
“I am over the moon to be able to announce this news and now really looking ahead to the BTCC, but I’ll never forget my time in the UK Clio Cup and what it’s done for me.”
Sutton and Cook become the second all ex-UK Clio Cup pairing to team up for a top BTCC squad in 2016 with Mat Jackson and Andrew Jordan – front-runners in the championship in 2000 and 2007 respectively – now together at Motorbase.
Furthermore 2012 UK Clio Cup title-winner Jack Goff has earned a drive with the crack WSR outfit. Among his team-mates is another former UK Clio Cup ace, Sam Tordoff.
And how could one forget Jason Plato and Colin Turkington, double BTCC champions both and who this year will line-up for new factory Subaru concern? Plato of course made his name in Renault Sport competition, winning its Eurocup Formula Renault crown in 19991 and later also the Renault UK Spider sportscar title in 1996 – this earning him his big break in the BTCC with Renault in its Williams-prepared Laguna model. Turkington also went straight to the BTCC from a Renault category, the UK Clio Cup’s winter series in 2000.
All the above are forever part of the Renault Sport ‘family’ of racers and the chance to first cheer them on in 2016 comes at the BTCC’s opening rounds at Brands Hatch circuit in Kent on the weekend of Sat 2/Sun 3 April. It will be at the same event that this year’s UK Clio Cup season gets under way too, heralding the start of Renault Sport’s latest search for the touring car stars of the future…
CLICK HERE to book tickets and for further event information.