A brave new chapter

Snetterton last weekend witnessed the beginning of the latest chapter in Renault Sport’s illustrious 40-year history of supporting motor sport in the UK – the birth of its exciting new Clio Cup Junior championship for 14 to 17 year old drivers.
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Although Renault Sport newsletter went to press before racing got under way, the event will have been significant for the category marks the first time a major motor manufacturer has gone down the junior saloon car route in motor sport.


Furthermore the cars being used are in effect the same as those in the senior UK Clio Cup which features live on ITV4 alongside the British Touring Car Championship. The only differences are a 100mph speed limit, five gears instead of six (albeit still operated by the same superbly engineered Sadev paddleshift system) and Michelin’s high performance Pilot Sport 3 road tyre instead of racing ‘slicks’.


In technical terms they therefore take junior car racing in the UK to a whole new level in terms of engineering, build quality and sheer performance…

In addition the eventual Champion will win a free registration into the senior Clio Cup – a prize worth £18,000! – so all the more reason to get off to a flying start in Snetterton’s opening two rounds.


It’s worth noting that former senior UK Clio Cup champions Ashley Sutton, Ant Whorton-Eales, Phil Glew, Paul Rivett and Jim Edwards Jnr are among those to have tested the Clio Cup Junior car and all agree the category has what it takes to drastically modernise junior car racing. UK motor sport is watching with great interest…


The big unknown is who will come out on top…


Seven drivers – the youngest aged 14; the oldest 16 – had officially lodged entries for UK Clio Cup Junior’s opening rounds at Snetterton with more names anticipated ahead of the championship’s next double-header event at Brands Hatch (Sat 23/Sun 24 Sept).


After that come events at Pembrey, Carmarthenshire (14-15 Oct) and Brands Hatch again (18-19 Nov).


The entries received at the time of writing represent varying levels of experience with three having previously competed in other forms of junior car racing, three others having enjoyed success in karting and one an absolute beginner!

Teams on the grid include the current top two in the senior UK Clio Cup, Team Pyro and WDE Motorsport, as well as JamSport Racing and MRM Racing.


Youngsters with racing ambitions interested in joining the UK Clio Cup Junior grid should contact Renault Sport’s UK Motorsport Manager Will Fewkes: Tel +44 (0)7894 317477 / Email will.fewkes-extern@renault.co.uk


Click on the following links to keep up to date with all the UK Clio Cup Junior news and information via Facebook, Twitter and website.