British Automobile Racing Club takes helm of Renault UK Clio Cup

Renault UK is delighted to announce the British Automobile Racing Club (BARC) has been appointed the new promoter of the Renault UK Clio Cup for 2013 with Simon North making a return to the role of Championship Manager.

The Thruxton-based BARC takes the helm of the popular Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship support category, as preparations for the 2013 season get well underway.

An eight-weekend, 16-race calendar for next season is confirmed with the Renault UK Clio Cup running alongside the BTCC at each of its events, with the exception of the trip north of the border to Knockhill in late August and the visit to Silverstone at the end of September.

Therefore, this means the 2013 Renault UK Clio Cup season will commence at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit on 30th/31st March before travelling to Donington Park, Thruxton, Oulton Park, Croft, Snetterton and Rockingham, prior to the return to Brands Hatch – this time on the full Grand Prix Circuit – for the grand finale over the weekend 12th/13th October.

Also new for next season will be the arrival of Dunlop as the official tyre partner for Clio Cup, the start of a multi-year agreement which brings the championship even more in-line with the BTCC.

With everything in place to ensure a smooth 2013, prior to the arrival of the brand new Clio Renaultsport 200 Turbo race car the following year, Renault UK has high hopes for a classic swansong season for the existing third generation Clio Cup car.

“We’re absolutely delighted to have agreed for BARC to become the promoter of the Renault UK Clio Cup, and for Simon North to return as the Championship Manager”, said Renault UK Communications Director Jeremy Townsend, “We’re also looking forward to working with our new official tyre supplier Dunlop and, of course, continuing to be part of the BTCC package.”

“It was of paramount importance for Clio Cup to be entrusted to a safe pair of hands and with BARC’s stewardship and Simon’s experience we certainly have that. Renault UK is proud to have a long-standing relationship with BARC, so we’re now looking forward to an excellent season to set the scene perfectly for the arrival of the new Clio Cup to the UK in 2014.”

On behalf of the BARC, Ian Watson – who takes a lead role heading up the organisational team behind the Renault UK Clio Cup – commented: “I speak for everyone at BARC when I say how delighted we all are to be the new promoters of the Renault UK Clio Cup, especially with the long and successful partnership we’ve enjoyed with Renault over the years.

“Clio Cup has always been a fantastically well supported championship, a true crown jewel for the BARC, and we’re looking forward to working hand-in-hand with Simon and Renault UK to help the series thrive.”

Simon North, who was previously the Championship Manager of the Renault UK Clio Cup between 1992 and 2011 and who is also the current promoter of the Protyre Formula Renault BARC Championship, is relishing the opportunity to work once again with the ultra-professional Clio Cup teams and, of course, Renault UK itself.

“It’s a privilege to have been welcomed back into the Renault UK Clio Cup family and to have been entrusted with the role of Championship Manager once again”, he said, “I’m very much looking forward to working with all of the excellent teams in the Clio Cup paddock and, it goes without saying, to working closely and efficiently with Renault UK and the BARC.”

Teams warmly welcome arrival of BARC and Dunlop
Leading teams from the Renault UK Clio Cup have warmly welcomed the announcement regarding the new custodians of the championship, and also the arrival of Dunlop which is set to bring fresh impetus to the one-make saloon car category.

“This is great news, I’m really looking forward to 2013 and having both BARC and Simon [North] looking after the Clio Cup”, said Mark Hunt, principal of 2012 Driver and Entrants’ championship winners Team Pyro, “You don’t realise what you’ve got until you’ve lost something, having Simon back as Championship Manager is really good for everyone.

“BARC is all about racing 100 percent, they understand what’s needed and how to make championships like Clio Cup work and be a success – especially in such tough economic times. They’re used to working from grass roots all the way up to the BTCC itself so they have the experience. With Dunlop coming in as well, it’s giving it a whole new lease of life.”

Renault UK Clio Cup stalwart Colin Stancombe, inimitable figurehead at Stancombe Vehicle Engineering, commented: “I’m delighted to see a professional organisation, and thoroughly professional people, back in control of Clio Cup – it’s precisely what the championship needs after a difficult year in 2012.

“With the knowledge and experience offered by BARC and Simon, and the support which BARC will give, the championship can’t fail to succeed. It’ll make such a difference to all of the teams and drivers to have people who really care about Clio Cup looking after it again.”

Lee Brookes, team principal of multiple title winning squad Total Control Racing, added: “It really is good news for the teams and the championship as a whole to have Simon back in charge with BARC – it’s back to the old days when everything ran smoothly. With BARC there to help, and people like Ian Watson behind the championship 100 percent, it’s great.

“It’s great to have a clear direction for Clio Cup now, that’s what we’ve needed, and with Dunlop coming in I know they’ll provide a good tyre. I used to race on them myself in touring cars, and won a championship on them, so I’ve got no worries there. It’s all good news.”

2013 Renault UK Clio Cup Calendar
Rds1&2 Brands Hatch Indy, Kent - 30/31 March
Rds3&4 Donington Park National, Leicestershire - 20/21 April
Rds5&6 Thruxton, Hampshire - 04/05 May
Rds7&8 Oulton Park Island, Cheshire - 08/09 June
Rds9&10 Croft, North Yorkshire - 22/23 June
Rds11&12 Snetterton 300 Circuit, Norfolk - 03/04 August
Rds13&14 Rockingham ISSC, Northamptonshire - 14/15 September
Rds15&16 Brands Hatch Grand Prix, Kent - 12/13 October