Renault Sport “moving UK junior car racing onto next level”

Renault Sport’s new UK Clio Cup Junior championship for 14 to 17-year-old racers is just weeks away and development driver Phil Glew has given us an insight into what the car being used is like to drive…
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UK Clio Cup Junior gets under way with the first pair of eight races at Snetterton, Norfolk on Sat 9/Sun 10 Sept.

The eventual Champion will win a FREE registration into the senior UK Clio Cup which races alongside the star-studded British Touring Car Championship. It's a prize worth £18,000...

Prizes will also be awarded to second and third and each race winner.

The car that each driver will be armed with is near identical to that used in the senior UK Clio Cup – the only changes are it is limited to 100mph and five gears and uses a road tyre (Michelin’s Pilot Sport 3) instead of a racing slick.

CLICK HERE for the full UK Clio Cup Junior race calendar.

Glew won the UK Clio Cup crown in 2009 and now commentates on the category for ITV Sport. He’s also one of the UK’s most respected race driver coaches making him an ideal choice to develop the car from scratch.

“I already work with a lot of junior drivers and have driven a lot of the other junior-spec cars out there so I had a good understanding of what we needed and really feel Renault Sport Racing has got it right with this one. This is the fastest junior-spec racing car I’ve driven,” said Glew.

Development of the car initially started at Magny-Cours in France before thousands more testing miles were racked up at Bedford Autodrome, Silverstone GP and Oulton Park in the UK.

This enabled Renault Sport’s technicians decide which road tyre gave the best levels of performance and safety and also helped them to find the right set-up on the car in terms of suspension, handling and engine mapping. This was crucial because in the UK junior racing cars are limited to 100mph.

Glew is in no doubt that what has been put together makes for a formula that takes junior car racing in Great Britain to another level.

“The youngsters will still be able to push as hard as the seniors do on a slick tyre but the car on road tyres is more forgiving which is exactly what you need for drivers at this age and level of experience.

“It means they can gradually build up a feeling for the car before moving on to the more powerful senior-spec car on the slick racing tyre. It’s the perfect stepping stone to the senior UK Clio Cup which I believe is one of the best front-wheel-drive racing categories in the world.”

Glew has spent plenty of hours sitting alongside youngsters who’ve sampled the car. Many have come from other junior car racing categories, others from karting. Regardless of background, one thing is clear.

“They can’t get enough of it. They love the paddle shift gearbox, how much more modern the design of the car is, how powerful the brakes are… it’s not a servo-assisted brake so they are learning how to bleed off the brakes entering a corner so as not to create understeer.

“Renault Sport is moving the junior racing scene on to the next level and the drivers who do this will I believe become very, very good drivers for the future.”