Snetterton 200 Circuit in Norfolk will host the first ever races for the brand new Michelin Clio Cup Series with Protyre this weekend, 11th/12th May, as the hugely cost-effective Renault UK and British Automobile Racing Club (BARC) led category embarks on the first of four events in its maiden year.
Launched just over four months ago, with the aim of providing a sensibly priced series for complete racing novices and experienced budget-restricted competitors alike, the category has gathered great momentum since that time.
Featuring third generation Clio Cup racecars, as currently used in the Renault UK Clio Cup, and track converted Clio Renaultsport 197 and 200 roadcars, the entry list includes true privateers, making their first steps in competitive motorsport, and seasoned campaigners with professional teams.
“After several months of hard work behind the scenes, it’s going to be fantastic to finally see the Michelin Clio Cup Series with Protyre come to fruition at the weekend”, said championship promoter Simon North, “Renault UK and the BARC are fully committed to making this new series a success and we’re delighted to have such strong early support from a mix of teams and privateers.
“We’re confident, as the year progresses, we’ll see more and more drivers realising just how highly cost-effective the series is. It’s also the perfect home for the third generation racing Clios when they are replaced in the Renault UK Clio Cup next season. On behalf of everyone involved with the series, I want to extend our sincere thanks to all of those who have come onboard for our first two races.”
Current Renault UK Clio Cup squads 20Ten Racing, Stancombe Vehicle Engineering and Scuderia Vittoria have each put their support behind the eight-race series and will be working with drivers in the ‘Racecar’ class – in which all cars run with ‘slick’ tyres from series partner Michelin.
Additionally, Meridian Motorsport has today, Wednesday, 8th May, confirmed its involvement at the eleventh hour with former Renault UK Clio Cup front-runner Rob Gaffney (Waltham Abbey) who will also compete in the headline ‘Racecar’ class.
EPM Technology/20Ten Racing will field three thoroughbred Clio Cup race cars at Snetterton with team principal Darren Wilson (Newark) joining former Renault UK Clio Cup competitors Peter Felix (Allestree, Derby) and Graham Mulholland (Duffield).
David Pierce (Maidstone), another ex-Clio Cup racer, will run under the Procom Team Racing banner with assistance from Colin Stancombe while trackday enthusiast James Weston (Tunbridge Wells) will make his full competition debut with Scuderia Vittoria.
Luke Herbert (Chichester), the 2012 Ma5da MX5 Cup Champion, moves into the Clio Cup Series with his own family-run car while fellow privateers Brett Lidsey (Dartford) and father and son racers Ian and Andy Jordan (Bridgnorth) also compete in the ‘Racecar’ class.
In the ‘Roadcar’ class, where all Clios run with Michelin’s Pilot Sport 3 road tyres to limit costs, established single-seater team SWB Motorsport will make its saloon car racing bow with a pair of converted Clio Renaultsport 197 cars. Karting graduate Sam Randon (Ashbourne) is joined by Norway’s Tommy Ostgaard, who makes the move from single-seaters to ‘tin tops’ this year.
Jake Honour (Melksham), meanwhile, will be the least experienced driver on the grid having only ever taken part in a few Renaultsport Trackdays. He enters a privately run Clio Renaultsport 197 which he has built himself using the Mark Fish Motorsport-supplied Safety Devices prefabricated Roll Cage Protection System and official conversion kit from Monster Sport Europe.
In addition to the category’s structure for race or road cars, further class divisions are applicable based on competition history. The ‘Expert’ class is for those with past racing experience while the ‘Sport’ class is for true car racing novices.
Race one of the inaugural Michelin Clio Cup Series with Protyre will take place at 15.05 on Saturday, 11th May, at Snetterton 200 Circuit with race two following at 14.20 on Sunday, 12th May.
Along with headline sponsors Michelin and Protyre, the Clio Cup Series is additionally supported by Safety Devices, Mark Fish Motorsport, The Lubricant Consultancy and NGK Spark Plugs.