Luke Herbert, the dominant force in last season’s Michelin Clio Cup Race Series, is targeting a push for title glory during the category’s first year as a full championship after today, Tuesday, 18th March, officially confirming his welcome return.
Winning five of the six races he contested at the wheel of his self-run third generation Clio Cup car in 2013, the Chichester driver chose to sit-out the final two Clio Cup Series encounters to instead take part in the last four rounds of the British Touring Car Championship-supporting Renault UK Clio Cup.
Aiming to utilise that experience to his advantage this season, Herbert is hoping to continue the winning ways which were a feature of his Clio racing last year and mount a major challenge for the inaugural Michelin Clio Cup Race Series title.
As last year, the 24-year-old’s squad will run under the SRC Recycling banner – in deference to his main sponsor – and an expansion of the team to run additional drivers hasn’t been ruled out at some point.
“We’ll be trying to do what we did last year in the Clio Series, win as many races as we can, but there’s obviously an actual championship to fight for this season so we’ll be going out to try and win that”, said Herbert, “The Media Day on Wednesday will actually be my first run in the car since last year, I’ve been focusing on work over the winter, keeping busy and trying to get some money in!
“I’m looking forward to being out there again this season in the Clios and we’re certainly open to running another car, either through sourcing a second car ourselves or running an owner-driver who wants to be part of a team. It’s something we’ve spoken about and those plans are in the pipeline.”
Prior to his move into Renault Clio racing last year, his first season in front-wheel drive, Herbert was a force in the Ma5da MX5 Championship and MX5 Cup. Named ‘Rookie of the Year’ in 2010, having taken two victories in his debut season in cars, the West Sussex racer was Vice-Champion of the MX5 Cup the following year before claiming the championship title in 2012 with no fewer than 13 wins.
Making an immediate impact in the Clio Cup Series last year, Herbert was undefeated during the opening weekend at Snetterton before adding a third straight win during the first of two races at Croft. Although an unfortunate non-finish in race four ended his run, he bounced back in style at Rockingham with two further victories.
Following the officially timed pre-season test and Media Day tomorrow, Wednesday, 19th March, at Rockingham’s International Super Sportscar Circuit, the Michelin Clio Cup Race Series will commence on 5th/6th April at the Northamptonshire venue.
Along with headline sponsors Michelin and Protyre, the Clio Cup Series is additionally supported by Ferodo and Safety Devices.