28/02/2017

Remember: they all came from Renault Sport in the UK

Fascinating fact: did you know that half the 30 drivers confirmed for 2017’s British Touring Car Championship grid have Renault Sport racing backgrounds with 13 of them coming from the UK Clio Cup?

It’s a statistic that once again underlines why Renault Sport’s racing categories stand out as the place to be for youngsters looking to successful careers as racing drivers.
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The latest to announce his BTCC aspirations is Colin Turkington (seen above in a 172 Clio Cup race car in 2001. He will rejoin the WSR team with which he won the touring car title in 2009 and 2015.

Meanwhile here’s how the rest of the Renault Sport ‘gang’ will line up on 2017’s BTCC grid…

  • Jason Plato (factory Subaru team): won 1996 Renault Spider title; also race-winning Renault BTCC driver 1997-1999
  • Ashley Sutton (Plato’s team-mate at Subaru): 2015 Renault UK Clio Cup Champion
  • Ant Whorton-Eales (AmD Audi): 2016 Renault UK Clio Cup Champion
  • Mat Jackson (Motorbase Ford): race-winner, 2000 Renault UK Clio Cup
  • Martin Depper (Motorbase Ford): 2010 Renault UK Clio Cup
  • Andrew Jordan (WSR BMW): front-runner, 2007 Renault UK Clio Cup
  • Aron Taylor-Smith (factory MG team): 2011 Renault UK Clio Cup runner-up
  • Daniel Lloyd (factory MG team): 2009 Renault UK Clio Cup winter series Champion
  • Jack Goff (Eurotech Honda): 2011 Renault UK Clio Cup Champion
  • Jeff Smith (Eurotech Honda): 2008-2010 Renault UK Clio Cup
  • Dave Newsham (BTC Chevrolet): 2010 Renault UK Clio Cup Champion
  • Chris Smiley (BTC Chevrolet): 2016 Renault UK Clio Cup
  • Senna Proctor (factory Vauxhall driver): 2016 Renault UK Clio Cup
  • Rob Austin (Hany Toyota): 1998-99 Formula Renault

But it’s not just the BTCC where drivers with pasts in Renault Sport UK competition are making the headlines.

Jonny Adam, UK Clio Cup Champion in 2005, will be going for a third straight British GT crown. His 2006 successor Tom Onslow-Cole meanwhile has been announced as a factory BMW driver in international GT competition, notably the Nurburgring 24 Hours endurance race.

His team-mate will be 2011 Formula Renault UK Champion Alex Lynn whose team-mate from that season, Oliver Rowland, has been confirmed with the DAMS team in this year’s GP2 category that supports the FIA Formula 1 World Championship.

Andy Priaulx, 1999 Renault Spider champion, will again race for Ford in the World Endurance Championship (alongside ex- Formula Renault UK front-runner Harry Tincknell) while Robert Huff, a top UK Clio Cup racer from 2002, has joined Honda for the World Touring Car Championship…

Then there are Messrs Hamilton and Raikkonen in F1, FRenault UK champions in 2003 and 2000 respectively. The list goes on…

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