Coates, Pidgley and Zelos all went straight from Brands Hatch’s season finale at the weekend to Silverstone where they were given a day’s test in Ciceley’s race-winning Mercedes.
The team’s touring car star Adam Morgan was on hand to set a benchmark time and offer guidance.
Ciceley announced mid-season it would give a touring car test to drivers contesting a season with it in the UK Clio Cup.
Morgan, Team Manager of Ciceley’s UK Clio Cup outfit, commented: “They’ve all done a stellar job – very impressive – and that is the UK Clio Cup experience telling.
“Right from the installation lap we asked each to do to really getting the hammer down later in the day, all three took to touring car machinery very comfortably – despite there being another 100bhp on tap.”
Coates, third in his debut UK Clio Cup season and also the championship’s Graduates Cup winner, said: “It’s been a phenomenal experience – I’ve loved every second. The Merc is like a big Clio Cup race car in many respects, but then there is the extra performance in terms of power and brakes in particular. I don’t think I’ll stop buzzing for another week!”
Zelos added: “How could you not love every second in a car like that! Certainly a season in a UK Clio Cup car helps considerably with the transition – I didn’t feel over-awed by experience; more very privileged. Ciceley has recently announced it is also putting a team in the new UK Clio Cup Junior championship – what a great ladder of opportunity for any 14 to 17-year-old to be a part of.”
And said Pidgley said: “It’s an amazing ‘thank you’ from Ciceley for drivers in its UK Clio Cup team. Being part of its UK Clio Cup line-up means all three of us have benefited greatly from the very professional environment and methods associated with its British Touring Car operation during 2016.”
Renault Sport UK’s Motor Sport Championship Manager Will Fewkes says Ciceley’s approach has added even more kudos to the UK Clio Cup’s relevance to the British Touring Car Championship.
He enthused: “Ciceley’s commitment to driver development in the UK Clio Cup – and soon the UK Clio Cup Junior category – is terrific to see. It is one of a number of great examples on the UK Clio Cup grid which is providing massive opportunity and underlining yet again that it is the place to be.”
Pics: Jakob Ebrey Photography