With a prized test in Renaultsport’s sensational R.S 0.1 sports/GT racer going to the Champion plus ‘try-outs’ in a British Touring Car also awarded to the top two the stakes are high as success in Renaultsport’s single-model championships has proven down the years.
Around half the current British Touring Car grid includes ex-Renaultsport drivers including top names such as Jason Plato, Andy Priaulx, Sam Tordoff, Andrew Jordan Jack Goff, Josh Cook, Dave Newsham, Mike Bushell and Mat Jackson. Past Clio Cup champs Tom Onslow-Cole and Jonathan Adam are also regarded among the best endurance/GT racers in the business to further endorse the Clio Cup’s ability to hone a driver’s skills…
Back to the current Clio Cup title race and youngsters Ant Whorton-Eales, Ash Hand and Ashley Sutton have all proved they are hot shots rather than hot heads – they hold the top three places in the standings ahead of vastly experienced triple champion Paul Rivett in fourth who is refusing to give up on his hopes of adding another crown.
These four have managed to escape the clutches of the pack behind and, given their form of late, it is expected that one of them will be crowned Renault UK Clio Cup Champion in 2015. But which one?
Whorton-Eales, driving for the SV Racing squad, leads Team Pyro’s Hand by the slender margin of just five points – the equivalent of a 16th place finish. Team BMR with Pyro’s Sutton, third, is 26 behind Whorton-Eales with Rivett 50 adrift of the top in fourth.
However with eight races – two each at four different circuits – still to go and a possible maximum of 272 points up for grabs (32 for a win plus a bonus two for setting the fastest lap) the championship remains wide open.
Adding to the unpredictability those four circuits – Knockhill; Rockingham, Northants (5-6 Sept); Silverstone National, Northants (26-27 Sept) and Brands Hatch GP, Kent (10-11 Oct) – differ vastly in terms of character.
Knockhill is one, non-stop ‘rollercoaster ride’ lap with its diving dips, steep climbs and off-camber bends; Silverstone, home to the British Formula 1 Grand Prix, might be flat but boasts tremendously high average speeds; Rockingham, notoriously abrasive on tyres, is the only anti-clockwise circuit and boasts a NASCAR-style banked first corner; Brands Hatch GP is many drivers’ favourite track of the year with its swooping woodland stretch that adds to the amphitheatre ‘Indy’ lay-out on which the season started back in April.
Meanwhile click on each of the following circuit’s names to book tickets to see the Clio Cup and British Touring Cars in action:
Also see the www.renaultsport.co.uk website to find out what each of the title protagonists has been saying.