Derby racing driver Tom Butler has signed an eleventh hour deal with local team 20Ten Racing to join the Michelin Clio Cup Race Series grid in time for the season-opening event at Rockingham this weekend, 5th/6th April.
The 20-year-old, who resides in the Allestree suburb of the East Midlands city, graduates to the popular one-make saloon car championship after just a single season of car racing in the MG Trophy where he impressed en-route to becoming Vice-Champion of Class C, third in the overall standings.
Linking-up with Little Eaton-based 20Ten, one of four teams doubling-up in the Clio Cup Race Series and the British Touring Car Championship-supporting Courier Connections Renault UK Clio Cup this year, Butler can’t wait for his first test in a 2.0-litre racing Clio tomorrow, Friday, 4th April.
“I did quite well in the MG championship last season and for this year we wanted to step-up into something more professional, more nationally recognised”, he commented, “Since the end of last season I’ve wanted to do this, we’ve been working really hard on it since then and have a guy called Peter Thorpe helping us to try and get some more sponsors in.
“The plan is to try and get into the Renault UK Clio Cup next year, money permitting, and then go for touring cars but it’s all down to the sponsorship. Friday’s test will be my first time in the car so it is all a bit last minute, hopefully we’ll have a good weekend though. I’m looking forward to working with the guys at 20Ten – they’re only based just around the corner from me!”
Within the space of a week 20Ten Racing has been able to conclude two deals to confirm its place on the Michelin Clio Cup Series grid at Rockingham, with Butler joining category podium finisher Brett Lidsey who switches from running as a privateer entrant.
One of the first drivers to commit to the inaugural year of Michelin Clio Cup Race Series action in 2013, Dartford-based Lidsey will begin the category’s first season as a fully-fledged championship as one of the expected front-runners.
The 22-year-old, who started his competitive motorsport career riding in schoolboy Motocross, claimed his first Michelin Clio Cup Race Series podium during the 2013 season finale at his home circuit, Brands Hatch, and claimed more silverware during the end-of-year Autumn Cup.
Speaking on 20Ten’s welcome return to the Michelin Clio Cup Race Series, team principal Simon Hunt said: “It’s great to have two cars on the grid this weekend, from nothing a week ago we’ve now got two drivers in the Race Series which is fantastic. Tom got in touch and said he was looking at the Race Series, we saw him on Monday and now we’ve done the deal.
“Friday’s test at Rockingham is going to be his first time in a Clio, so he’ll have a lot to learn but he did well in the MG ZRs. Brett saw us at Brands last weekend [the opening event of the Renault UK Clio Cup] and said he wanted to run with a team, so we’re delighted to have him on-board and really looking forward to the weekend.”
Any drivers still looking to enter the Michelin Clio Cup Race Series are invited to get in touch with 20Ten Racing which has further cars available. For more information contact Simon Hunt on 07919 075248 or email email@example.com
Along with headline sponsors Michelin and Protyre, the Clio Cup Series is additionally supported by Ferodo and Safety Devices.