Experienced single-seater team SWB Motorsport is to take its first steps into the world of saloon car racing after today, Monday, 11th February, announcing its commitment to compete in the brand new Michelin Clio Cup Series with Protyre – becoming the first squad to officially sign-up for the category.
Karting graduate Sam Randon (Ashbourne, Derbyshire) has already signed with the Daventry team for the inaugural season of the incredibly cost-effective entry-level saloon car category and will run in the ‘Roadcar’ class in a converted Clio Renaultsport 197.
The 18-year-old, who comes fresh into cars from Formula KGP and Super 1 Junior TKM karting where he was a multiple race winner and title challenger, first experienced karting in 2006 but didn’t take up the sport competitively for another two years.
Since then, Randon has enjoyed great success at national level with numerous victories and podium results. In addition to his step-up into car racing, he is also studying for the MSA Academy’s AASE (Advanced Apprenticeship in Sporting Excellence).
“The cost-effectiveness of the Clio Cup Series is the main draw for us as a team, the budget to race is so much lower than any other form of car-based motorsport”, commented SWB team principal Simon Baldry, “We’ve already got our academy style structure in place from karting to single-seaters, now this will give us a route from karts into tin-tops for anyone who wants to go down that road.
“The longer term plan is to definitely run in the Renault UK Clio Cup on the TOCA package as well, being in the Clio Cup Series this year will enable us to do a lot of testing of the water, so to speak, in tin-tops under the radar. We’re looking forward to working with Sam, we all know him from our involvement in karting and this is a great way for him to start out in cars.”
Michelin Clio Cup Series with Protyre, which is administered by the British Automobile Racing Club (BARC), is targeting a mix of racing rookies, those with trackday experience who are keen to make the step into competition and also racers, like Randon, who are already in competitive motorsport.
Initial interest for the series, which is set to begin on 11th/12th May at Snetterton in Norfolk, has been incredibly strong and series promoter Simon North is delighted SWB – a mainstay of the Protyre Formula Renault Championship – has become the first confirmed Clio Cup Series team.
“It’s fantastic news to have a racing team as experienced as SWB committing early to the Michelin Clio Cup Series with Protyre”, said North, “It really is the perfect entry-level category for a young karter like Sam [Randon] who wishes to set out on a potential career in saloon cars, as well as being the perfect place for people like trackday enthusiasts to take up racing for the first time.
“We’ve been taking a lot of calls from car owners and established teams, some from Renault UK Clio Cup and others, like SWB, from other forms of racing. All in all, the level of interest continues to be very strong and we’re looking forward to making more announcements in the coming weeks.”
In addition to the class for converted Clio Renaultsport 197 and Clio Renaultsport 200 road cars, pure thoroughbred third generation racing Clios, of the type currently running in the Renault UK Clio Cup, are eligible for the Michelin Clio Cup Series with Protyre. Full race cars will run with Michelin ‘slicks’ while the converted cars will utilise Michelin’s Pilot Sport 3 road tyres.
Provisional 2013 Michelin Clio Cup Series with Protyre Calendar
Races 1&2 Snetterton, Norfolk - 11th/12th May
Races 3&4 Croft, North Yorkshire - 6th/7th July
Races 5&6 Rockingham, Northamptonshire - 10th/11th August
Races 7&8 Brands Hatch, Kent - 21st/22nd September