19/06/2015

CHAMPIONSHIP CHIEF DELIGHTED WITH CLIO CUP'S TEAMS & DRIVERS

Bosses of the Renault UK Clio Cup say they are in no doubts that this year’s championship is shaping up to be one of the very best in its 16-year history, based on what they have seen so far in the season’s opening eight races.
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The UK Clio Cup title race heads to North Yorkshire’s popular Croft Circuit for its latest two cut-and-thrust rounds in just over a week (Sat 27-Sun 28 June) prior to the traditional mid-season break. As ever the action will receive live coverage on ITV4 (on the Sunday at Croft).

The championship will then reconvene for two more races at Fife’s spectacular Knockhill circuit (22-23 Aug) ahead of further double-headers at Northamptonshire’s Rockingham (5-6 Sept) and Silverstone circuits (26-27 Sept) prior to the all-important season finale on the legendary Brands Hatch Grand Prix track (10-11 Oct).

To date, 2015’s first eight rounds have produced four different winners racing for three different teams, namely Team Pyro pair Ash Hand and Ashley Sutton, SV Racing’s Ant Whorton-Eales and WDE Motorsport’s Paul Rivett.

There have been podium finishes, too, for 20TenRacing’s Jordan Stilp and SVR’s Jack Mitchell while three more drivers – Cooksport pair Charles Ladell and Jon Maybin plus Pyro’s Brett Smith – have come close top three results. The JamSport and Team BKR squads have also shown flashes of front-running form in their first full season of the Clio Cup.

Championship Manager Will Fewkes commented: “Our grid numbers are continually up on 2014 and there are strong signs that they will continue to increase during the second half of the current season.

“What has also pleased me immensely is the quality of driving throughout the field. Bear in mind that out of 111 laps completed so far only two of those have been held behind the safety car. Even when things become intense on track, no-one has gone and over-reacted – there has still been respect and the teams and drivers should be congratulated on the excellent show they are providing.

“Clearly that show, and the exposure surrounding it, has not gone unnoticed. Likewise the top-class technical support we provide our teams and drivers, the excellent value-for-money product of the Clio Cup race car and the budgets required to compete at the front being kept in check under the £100,000 mark.

“Our teams are already receiving plenty of interest for the future, as are we from drivers in both the BTCC’s other supporting categories and championships elsewhere, both in the UK and overseas. That confidence is enabling us to already work on 2016’s UK Clio Cup.”

Jeremy Townsend, Renault UK’s Communications Director, said: “Renault UK is absolutely delighted with how its 2015 Clio Cup is shaping up. Even by the Clio Cup’s high standards the racing has been exceptional and it is clear to see that both on and off the track there is a real vibrancy about the championship wherever it goes. But there’s much more to it than that whether that be our pre-season Media Day launch – by far the best we’ve ever done – the increased levels of competition and excellence both on and off the track between our teams and drivers or the terrific feedback we continue to receive from our hospitality guests at race events.

“A quick count also shows that half the current BTCC grid is made up of drivers who have come up through the Renaultsport UK ranks and then there are some other very obvious links to the current BTCC grid – Andy Priaulx working with Ash Hand, BTCC driver Jeff Smith’s son Brett competing in the Clio Cup, Team BMR Restart’s support of Ashley Sutton and its own new karting category providing a race seat in the Clio Cup and, of course, our 2014 runner-up Josh Cook’s own Clio Cup team with Josh himself having adapted superbly to touring car competition.

“As we approach the mid-way point of the season, 2015’s Clio Cup is living up to the pre-season hype and undoubtedly shaping up as one of the very best since the championship started in 2000.”