Former BTCC ace & British GT Champion Allison makes racing return

Norwich racing driver Matt Allison, the 2006 British GT Champion and a former front-runner in the high-profile British Touring Car Championship, is to make a surprise return to action this year after confirming a full campaign in the flourishing Michelin Clio Cup Race Series.
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Marking a major boon for the all-action saloon car championship, Allison’s arrival in the Race Series adds extra spice to what is already expected to be a fantastic season. Having purchased one of Team Pyro’s third generation Clio Cup cars, the married father of two will enter the 2015 championship as a privateer but will run under the ‘Intercity Racing’ banner in deference to his headline sponsor.

“I’m a bit of a relic now – I’ve certainly got less hair than when I was in GT and touring cars!”, he joked, “Seriously, I’m really looking forward to being back out there racing, this couldn’t have fitted in any better for me. I’ve really missed being involved but the Michelin Clio Cup Series is perfect for my situation now, it’s a cost-effective way to go racing and with a level playing field too.

“The championship is starting to gather good momentum, just at the time I’m ready to be back. It’s been tough being away from motorsport but when the economic downturn hit hard in 2008, it badly affected people like me who rely on corporate backing. I’m looking forward to running our own car and we’ve got some good mechanics from work involved – including an ex-Renault technician.”

Beginning his car racing career in single-seaters at the turn of the Millennium, Allison won the BRDC Formula Ford 1600 Championship before switching to saloon cars in 2004 in the Renault UK Clio Cup where he established himself as a front-running force – winning the Winter Series in 2005.

Moving into sportscars the following year, he won the coveted British GT title in his first season at the wheel of a Porsche 911 GT3 and subsequently made his BTCC debut in 2007 where he was sixth overall in the Independents Trophy, driving a SEAT Toledo. 

When funding issues struck in 2008, though, Allison was forced onto the sidelines and has only made sporadic racing appearances since. Notably, he won two Renault UK Clio Cup races at Croft in 2011 and also piloted a Radical SR3 in a handful of races in 2013, achieving two podiums.

Mainly focusing on the family business, MK Commercials, over the last few years, the 31-year-old has been hungry to put together a full-time racing programme and has almost come full circle with a return to racing the hugely popular third generation Clio in the Michelin-backed series.

“I’ve got to say a big thank you to Intercity Telecoms, our main sponsor, and our other partners Alan Boswell Group, Daly Group, John Clayden Lubricants and Totally Dynamic Norfolk – we wouldn’t be racing without them”, added Allison, “We’re trying not to set any expectations, obviously I want to make a good impression and have some success but it will be a learning curve again initially.”

Allison will have his first run at the wheel of his newly acquired third generation Clio Cup car at the beginning of April during a general test at Rockingham. The 2015 Michelin Clio Cup Race Series will then begin at the Northamptonshire track on 11th/12th April.

Along with headline sponsors Michelin and Protyre, the Clio Cup Series is additionally supported by Ferodo and Safety Devices with further support for the Road Series from Monster Sport Europe.