Saloon car racer Brett Lidsey has today, Friday, 8th March, confirmed his graduation into the 2013 Michelin Clio Cup Series with Protyre, having purchased the front-running Renault UK Clio Cup car campaigned in the sister championship last year by Josh Files.
Dartford-based Lidsey, who has been competing in club motorsport for the past couple of seasons, will race in the headline ‘Expert’ class with his newly acquired purchase and, in doing so, will realise a long-standing ambition of piloting a thoroughbred Clio Cup race car.
The 21-year-old, who used to compete in Schoolboy Motocross and is an escalator engineer by trade for his family’s business Liftout Ltd, was named Best Newcomer in the 2011 Cannons Motor Spares Tin Top Saloon Car Series before winning the T3 Class title in the championship last year.
“This new series is fantastic”, said Lidsey, “I’ve always dreamed of racing a Clio and now, thanks to this new BARC series, I’ve been able to buy one and will be racing identical cars in a one-make category. I really think this will prove to be the best affordable series on the market. I honestly can’t wait to start racing the Clio, I expect it to be hard work but that just means I’ll be trying harder to win.”
Sean Cassidy, who formerly worked with reigning Renault UK Clio Cup champion entrant Team Pyro, has been assisting Lidsey since 2011 and through his Barwell-based Jade Developments concern he will now engineer the Kent youngster in the Michelin Clio Cup Series.
Lidsey added: “Sean is a great mechanic and I’m really happy to be working with him again this year for my move up into ‘big boy level’! His knowledge and advice is going to be vital, Sean’s been there and done it in the Renault UK Clio Cup with [Team] Pyro, so I know I’ve got fantastic support.”
Michelin Clio Cup Series with Protyre is brand new for 2013 and has been established by the British Automobile Racing Club (BARC), in conjunction with Renault UK, to offer a truly cost-effective first step into one-make Clio Cup racing.
Drivers, like Lidsey, with thoroughbred third generation racing Renault Clios will be able to compete alongside others with converted Clio Renaultsport 197 and Clio Renaultsport 200 roadcars thanks to a clearly defined class structure. There will also be an option for participants to run with either full Michelin racing slicks or Pilot Sport 3 high-performance treaded road tyres.
“We’re delighted to welcome Brett into the Michelin Clio Cup Series and with the support of Jade Developments it should be a very successful year for him”, said promoter Simon North, “Everyone is working incredibly hard behind the scenes to make the first year of the series a successful one, and we’re continuing to field new enquiries on a regular basis, so our hopes are high for a strong grid.”
Snetterton 200 Circuit in Norfolk will host the first ever races for the Michelin Clio Cup Series with Protyre on 11th/12th May with subsequent events at Croft in July, Rockingham in August and then Brands Hatch Indy Circuit in September. Dependant on the popularity of the series, it could become a fully-fledged championship in 2014.