Edwards, UK Clio Cup Champion in 2000, tested the car at Norfolk’s Snetterton circuit which will host the opening rounds of the new UK Clio Cup Junior championship – for drivers aged 14 to 17 – in September.
It is identical to those used in the senior UK Clio Cup that features at British Touring Car events except for a minor modification to the ECU – limiting it to 100mph and five gears – and a switch to road tyres, Michelin’s high performance Pilot Sport 3.
Edwards enthused: “I was pleasantly surprised how controllable the car is which is going to be vital for youngsters as it gives them immediate confidence, but at the same time how it still retains a lot of the characteristics and feel of the full-blown UK Clio Cup machine.
“I came away feeling that a junior driver would be able to get their head around it very quickly. When the drivers are still so young it’s important they can keep the car under control and build up speed over time.
“Then as they become more experienced the inevitable next set of skills will be momentum, smoothness and fine tuning that last bit of technique to get the very best out of the car which leads perfectly into the senior car.”
Edwards, father of current senior UK Clio Cup racer Jade Edwards, was also glowing of the Junior car’s behaviour on the Michelin road tyres.
He added: “The car is very predictable and confidence-inspiring on them, but perhaps most surprising is how it still behaves a lot like the senior car.
“Clearly a lot of thought has gone into the car’s development for the junior driver. It has a lovely balance.”