The Renault UK Clio Cup Junior championship will commence in 2017 having obtained outline approval by UK motor sport’s governing body the Motor Sports Association’s Championship Control Panel.
It will run to 12 rounds at six two-day events (fixtures to be confirmed) which will each include a ‘warm-up’ session, timed qualifying and two races.
Teams and drivers will each use identical racing versions of the Clio Renault Sport 220 Trophy – as used in the high-profile Renault UK Clio Cup that races alongside the Dunlop British Touring Car Championship.
However to comply with Junior racing regulations the cars will be limited to a maximum speed of 100mph. Cars will also use the same steering-wheel mounted 'paddle' gearshift (pictured left) as in the UK Clio Cup but a simple modification to the ECU will reduce them to five-speed (blocking the sixth gear).
In addition the Juniors will run on high-performance road tyres – Michelin’s Pilot Sport 3 (above left) – which will be limited in number to four per car per event.
A special ‘finance’ option to help participants spread the cost of purchasing cars is also available via the Moorgate Motorsport Finance group.
Significantly, those investing in cars will be able to use them in both the senior and junior UK Clio Cups thanks to the simple modifications required to adapt them for each category.
All interested parties should email Renault Sport UK’s Motorsport Championship Manager Will Fewkes firstname.lastname@example.org
He commented: “It is important to stress that UK Clio Cup Junior is very much being positioned at club level and we envisage a season’s running costs to come in as low as £30,000.
“We also hope that a Junior entry-level championship, with backing from Renault UK and, centrally, Renault Sport Racing and all the associated expertise and professionalism, will appeal to smaller racing outfits and also to more female drivers.
“Tight technical regulations and strict enforcement will certainly mean that each entrant will be competing in the same machinery, making it the perfect arena in which to showcase driver ability.”
He added: “We feel this marks a real shift in junior racing marketplace all round and we’ve also worked hard to ensure that the racing calendar we have in mind will work around school term time for youngsters.
“Also the fact that teams will be able to use cars in both the Junior and senior UK Clio Cups is attractive when weighing up an investment – particularly with the excellent finance packages that we’ve put in place with Moorgate.
“I would like to thank both the MSA and the British Automobile Racing Club for their invaluable guidance and support for Renault UK Clio Cup Junior. As ever in motor sport, nothing remains secret for long so we felt it better to announce these details now given the high numbers of enquiries we have already received at the recent Snetterton BTCC event and since. We hope to announce UK Clio Cup Junior’s inaugural 2017 calendar shortly.”
Jeremy Townsend, Communications Director for Renault UK, said: “This marks the first time we have entered the junior racing marketplace but we believe we have the perfect product for this and also, with the same management behind the UK Clio Cup, the right people to make it happen.
“Extensive testing of the UK Clio Cup car shows that it can easily complete a full season of both the UK Clio Cup and UK Clio Cup Junior without need for engine rebuilds – the product really is that good in terms of engineering and reliability which is something Renault has prided itself on since entering UK motor sport in the mid-Seventies.
“Clearly we wish to see many of our Junior drivers graduate to the UK Clio Cup alongside the BTCC and go on to success in years to come in not just touring cars but also sportscar and GT competition – something that our racing categories have successfully achieved for many years.”
Technical Specification: Renault UK Clio Cup Junior
Type: Clio Renaultsport steel bodyshell reinforced by a welded roll cage
Type: Renault M5Mt, 4 cylinder, 16 valve, 1618cc, turbo charged with direct injection
Max power: Limited to MSA Junior regulations
Electronics: Cosworth SQ7 Di – XAP electric control
Gearbox: Sadev ST82-17 six-speed sequential + reverse gear modified to five-speed (blocked sixth gear)
Controls: XAP electric control, semi-automatic steering-wheel mounted
Differential: Sadev 23/90 self-locking limited-slip
Clutch: SACHS Racing clutch discs and mechanism – Sadev stop
AXLES & SUSPENSIONS
Front: Pseudo-McPherson one-way adjustable ZF Race Engineering shock absorber
Rear: One-way adjustable ZF Race Engineering shock absorber with programmed flexible axle/torsion beam
System: AP Racing, two separate master cylinders
Discs: PFC 330x28 mm ventilated Renault 260 mm
Calipers: PFC four-piston (front)
Rims: Speedline 8x17 aluminium one-piece
Tyres: Michelin Pilot Sport 3 (high performance road tyres)
DIMENSIONS, WEIGHT & CAPACITY
Wheel base: 2576 mm
Front / rear track: 1550mm / 1520 mm
Fuel tank: 46 litres
Unloaded weight: 1090 kg