Yet another young rookie will make his Michelin Clio Cup Race Series debut at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit this weekend, 26th/27th July, with the confirmation Junior Saloon Car Championship racer Adam Hatfield is to make a last-minute graduation with leading team SV Racing.
The 16-year-old from Cranworth in Norfolk, who will be one of the youngest drivers on the grid this weekend during rounds seven and eight, made the step-up into car racing from karting last year in the JSCC and joined Danny Buxton’s SV Racing outfit during the second half of the season.
Embarking on a testing programme in a third generation 2.0-litre thoroughbred racing Clio with the Cheshire team, Hatfield has made strong progress and now has the chance to put all he has learned into practice as team-mate to category podium finisher Sam Randon (Ashbourne).
“Originally the plan was to run a full year’s testing ahead of a full assault next season, so to be racing this weekend is really exciting”, commented the Clio Cup Series newcomer, “I’ve had six days’ worth of testing so far this year and feel very comfortable in the car. The SVR team and I tested at Brands Hatch earlier in the year and it’s a circuit I enjoy as its fast nature provides an exciting challenge.
“I’ve had a lot of tutoring from both Danny [Buxton] and several of the Renault UK Clio Cup drivers, so I’m feeling really good ahead of this weekend. I don’t have any high expectations, but it would be good to be racing within the mix of everyone to gain some valuable experience”
Hatfield’s true eleventh hour arrival into the Michelin Clio Cup Race Series takes the entry up to 15 cars for the weekend’s racing, 21 in total with the Road Series contenders included – although the latter have their own standalone races this weekend.
Commenting ahead of Hatfield’s competitive debut in the championship, SV Racing team principal Buxton said: “The decision to race Adam at Brands Hatch this weekend was based on the last few highly successful test days he has undertaken with us. His development rate for someone so young has been very impressive and dipping his toe into a racing environment will further that.
“At just 16-years-old, he needs the discipline of a race weekend which is good for young people to experience every now and again as the competition element pushes them forward. I’m really excited about this weekend and, no matter what happens, it will be a great learning curve for him.”
Hatfield’s deal comes hot on the heels of the announcement made on Wednesday regarding 20Ten Racing’s latest driver signing, fellow Race Series debutant Tom Barley (Crayford) who will team-up alongside Brett Lidsey (Dartford) and Tom Butler (Allestree, Derby) at the Derbyshire squad.
Round seven and eight qualifying for the Michelin Clio Cup Race Series will begin at 10.35 tomorrow, Saturday, 26th July, with the first race of the weekend following at 15.45. On Sunday, 27th July, race two will get underway at 15.00.
Along with headline sponsors Michelin and Protyre, the Clio Cup Series is additionally supported by Ferodo and Safety Devices.