Coupled with widespread availability of road-going Clio Renaultsport 197 donor cars, which can be purchased for as little as £2,500 in the current marketplace, the championship undoubtedly offers one of the most cost-effective routes into professionally organised motorsport.
The full version of the Renaultsport kit, which enables prospective competitors to turn their road Clios into fully-fledged race cars, is priced at £4,414.73 plus VAT but the lower cost kit comprising the essential items required is just £3,143.23 plus VAT.
The mandatory roll cage necessary for competition is an additional £1,000 plus VAT and is supplied solely through motor racing expert Mark Fish Motorsport, which also offers a fitting service for an additional labour charge.
“We’re thrilled to have been able to make the Michelin Clio Cup Road Series even more affordable for competitors with the introduction of another conversion kit option”, explained series promoter Simon North, “All of the essential items, minus the roll cage, are included in the lower priced kit which now means someone can have a ready-to-race [Clio Renaultsport] 197 for roughly £7,500.
“This really does represent incredible value, extremely cost effective racing and an ideal route onto the saloon car ladder for those young drivers aspiring to one day race in touring cars and GTs. It is also a perfect way for seasoned competitors to enjoy their racing for, relatively, very little outlay.”
Promoted by Grovewood Sport Ltd, the Michelin Clio Cup Road Series – as well as the sister Michelin Clio Cup Race Series for third generation thoroughbred racing Renault Clios – was inaugurated in 2013 and became a fully-fledged championship last year.
For its third season of action, the category is targeting a grid of at least 12 cars to enable the series to run as a standalone entity. Over the past couple of years, the Road Series has run as a class within the accompanying Race Series contests although the Road competitors did enjoy separate races at Oulton Park, Brands Hatch and Snetterton last season.
Announced in December, the 2015 calendar comprises six race weekends and will get underway on 11th/12th April at Rockingham. Notably, the Michelin Clio Cup Road Series and the Race Series will, for the first time, visit Thruxton and Silverstone International Circuit.
As last year, tyre control rules remain the same with competitors required to purchase Michelin Pilot Sport 3 tyres on event from series partner Protyre Motorsport. Importantly, category organisers have confirmed only Clio Renaultsport 197 cars are permitted for use – the ‘200’ model is ineligible.
Aimed at drivers 16-years-of-age and above, the minimum race licence requirement to compete in the Road Series is a National B. Ideal for those youngsters moving out of karting who are eyeing potential careers in saloon car competition rather than single-seaters, the category is very much the first rung on the Clio Cup ladder below the sister Michelin Clio Cup Race Series.
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.