Sutton picked up the key to a Renaultsport 220 Trophy – one of his prizes for winning 2015’s Clio Cup crown – from the Renault London West dealership. And after just a few hundred miles behind the wheel he declared: “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.”
Sutton says he is now waiting for Renaultsport UK to announce details of its 2016 track days for an opportunity to ‘run free’ in his 220 Trophy. He enthused: “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.”
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 in his 220 Trophy. And we’ve got that driving licence…”