Sutton’s car, in ‘Glacier White’, was awaiting him at the Renault London West dealership late last week and he has the loan of it for one year.
The 220 Trophy is the very latest-specification Clio Renaultsport on the road and the model on which the UK Clio Cup race car is based. Sutton won this year’s UK Clio Cup crown in a thrilling season finale on Brands Hatch’s Grand Prix circuit last month.
After collecting the key to his 220 Trophy, 21-year-old Sutton enthused: “I love it. Genuinely I do. I drove it back home to Bishops Stortford and then to work and it’s shocked me in quite a few areas. I do have another ‘hot hatch’ by another manufacturer – one of the main rivals – but this is definitely my new favourite.
“The fully interactive centre console – I was surprised just how much there is to play around with when you go into the options. And I really like the gearshift with both the paddle and sequential options.
“It’s also got serious pace and the launch control – of course I’ve tried it! – is very impressive. The initial pull-away thanks to the electronics is probably quicker even than the race car, while the differential copes with it all very well and prevents the front tyres from simply lighting up – again, very impressive.
“The chassis feels nice and stiff, a real driver’s car. I’d need to take it on a track day to properly put it through its paces but the immediate feeling is it will really let you push it. The Renaultsport seats hold you in nicely and the car has a really nice look and feel to it. Unfortunately I’ve got a bit of dirt on it so need to give it a wash.
“I have to say a huge ‘thank you’ to Renault UK and the Clio Cup: first a test in a British Touring Car, now a Clio Renaultsport 220 Trophy for the road and a test in Renaultsport’s R.S 0.1 silhouette race car still to come. It’s a great manufacturer and a fantastic racing championship for young drivers to aim for. I’ll always be very proud of my achievements in the Renault UK Clio Cup.”
Jeremy Townsend, Renault UK’s Communications Director, said: “Having seen the photo on Ashley’s driving licence we’ve definitely got something on him if ever we needed him to say nice things about the 220 Trophy, but clearly it’s not been required!
“It great to hear such positive feedback about the car from not only our 2015 Champion but also one of the very best emerging stars of British motor sport. The 220 Trophy is among the very latest in a long line of very exciting and highly desirable models from Renaultsport and people really take notice when they see them on the road.
“Certainly we will be inviting Ashley to one of our specially organised Renaultsport UK Track Days in 2016 – always very popular with owners of Renaultsport models of all eras – to see what he can really get his 220 Trophy to do. In the meantime may we remind him he is limited to 15,000 miles. And we’ve got that driving licence…”