Front-running Courier Connections Renault UK Clio Cup racer Ant Whorton-Eales has been officially confirmed as an eleventh hour addition to the sister Michelin Clio Cup Race Series grid at Snetterton this weekend, 30th/31st August, for a one-off outing in the club-level championship.
Getting back behind the wheel of a 2.0-litre normally aspirated third generation racing Renault Clio for the first time since the final round of the 2013 Renault UK Clio Cup last October, the 20-year-old Lichfield youngster will undoubtedly be a major contender for podium success from the 22 car grid.
Driving for SV Racing, the team with which the KX Akademy driver regularly competes in the blue riband British Touring Car Championship support category with the latest turbo-powered Clio, Whorton-Eales will partner Renault newcomer Alex Reed (Horsham) at the Danny Buxton-led squad.
“I can’t wait to get back out in the two litre car”, said Whorton-Eales, “It was, and still is, a really good race car and I am hoping for some strong results and data to help SVR newcomer Alex Reed and to also keep me sharp for Rockingham [Renault UK Clio Cup] next weekend in the latest car.
“I haven’t been out in the third generation car since our race weekend in the main championship at Brands GP last year, so it will be interesting to feel the back-to-back differences between cars and I’ll also be back on Michelin tyres. I’m really looking forward to the weekend, it should be good.”
Whorton-Eales is currently fifth overall in the Courier Connections Renault UK Clio Cup with five podiums to his credit so far this year, the most recent coming at Knockhill in Scotland last weekend when he finished second in round 13. In the Graduate Cup class for younger competitors, the rapid Staffordshire racer is third in the points standings with two victories and six other top three results.
After winning the SaxMax Championship, now known as the Junior Saloon Car Championship, in 2010, Whorton-Eales moved into the MINI Challenge the following year where he secured his second title in as many seasons by winning the ‘Club Class’.
Debuting in the Renault UK Clio Cup the same year, he contested four races before embarking on his first full season in the BTCC feeder series in 2012 where he finished eighth overall, with two outright podiums, and also claimed three wins in the Rookie Cup in which he was runner-up.
Last year in his second full season in Clios, Whorton-Eales claimed his maiden Renault UK Clio Cup victory and took three other podiums en-route to seventh overall in the championship. He was also fourth in the Graduate Cup with three class wins.
Michelin Clio Cup Race Series qualifying at Snetterton will take place at 11.10 tomorrow, Saturday, 30th August, with round nine of the season – which is to be screened live on Motors TV – getting underway at 15.25. Round 10 will follow on Sunday, 31st August, at 11.45.
Along with headline sponsors Michelin and Protyre, the Clio Cup Series is additionally supported by Ferodo and Safety Devices.