Brands Hatch Indy Circuit in Kent will host the final two races of the inaugural Michelin Clio Cup Series with Protyre this weekend, 21st/22nd September, where no less than five new faces will join the burgeoning category for the first time.
Among the entries will be Autosport journalist Glenn Freeman (West Molesey) who is set to pilot Monster Sport Europe’s recently built Clio Renaultsport 197 in the ‘Road Series’. The 27-year-old, who works as News Editor at the weekly publication, will be penning an article about his experience for an upcoming article in the magazine.
Joining Freeman in the Road Series class, in which all race-converted Clio Renaultsport 197 cars run on Michelin Pilot Sport 3 road tyres, will be undefeated six-time class winner Tommy Ostgaard, the Norwegian’s SWB Motorsport team-mate Sam Randon (Ashbourne) and Jake Honour (Melksham).
In the headline ‘Racecar’ class, featuring the third generation racing Clio, reigning Renault UK Clio Cup champion entrant Team Pyro will make its first appearance in the Michelin Clio Cup Series with karting graduate Ollie Pidgley (Salisbury). The 16-year-old, who won the 2010 Forest Edge Kart Club Junior Rotax title, is making his saloon car debut ahead of a planned full campaign next year.
Peter Bennett (Lowestoft) will also make his car racing debut, albeit at the other end of the age scale to teenage rookie Pidgley. Bennett, who works as a mechanic in his spare time with Renault UK Clio Cup team Finesse Motorsport and has a long history in gearbox karting, is set to undertake his first races in cars at a sprightly 47-years-of-age!
Two experienced ‘tin-top’ competitors will be getting their first taste of Michelin Clio Cup Series action as well during the seventh and eighth races of the season, namely David Thomas (Westerham) and Simon Hunt (Derby).
Hunt, a past race winner and title contender in the 750 Motor Club Stock-Hatch Championship, will double-up in his existing role as team manager of Michelin Clio Cup Series squad 20Ten Racing to actually campaign one of the outfit’s Clios.
Thomas, who has been a regular podium finisher and race winner in a variety of club-level categories since making his race debut back in 2010 in his mid-forties, is to debut in the Clio Series under the Team Creamslice banner.
“We’re delighted to see more and more new faces arriving in the Michelin Clio Cup Series with Protyre”, said category promoter Simon North, “Brands Hatch always provides great saloon car racing so we’re all looking forward to an entertaining conclusion to what has been an excellent first year for the Series, one which has exceeded our expectations.”
Several of the Michelin Clio Cup Series regulars will be striving to end the season challenging for a maiden victory, not least privateer runner Andy Jordan (Bridgnorth) who took a brace of superb runner-up spots last time out at Rockingham. As ever, he will be joined on the grid by his dad Ian Jordan (Bridgnorth) who is seeking his first podium in the category.
Likewise, Brett Lidsey (Dartford) has been close to visiting the rostrum on more than one occasion so far this year and will be determined to end the campaign with some podium silverware – especially at his home track which is situated just 20 minutes down the road from his hometown.
Procom Team Racing’s David Pierce (Maidstone) is another Brands Hatch local aiming to impress on home soil and the same goes for Scuderia Vittoria’s James Weston (Tunbridge Wells). Completing the entry is privateer Jason Tarling (Wickham Bishops) who can also count the race meeting as a ‘home’ event.
Qualifying for the seventh race of the Michelin Clio Cup Series with Protyre season will get underway at 09.25 on Saturday, 21st September, with the 20-minute encounter following at 13.15. On Sunday, 22nd September, the second qualifying session will begin at 10.50 with the final race of the campaign starting at 15.35.
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.