Turbocharged teenagers are go!

Following on from its highly dramatic inaugural season in 2017, the Renault UK Clio Cup Junior championship – for drivers aged 14 to 17 – returns this weekend (Sat 24/Sun 25 March) for its opening rounds of 2018 at the world famous Silverstone circuit in Northamptonshire.
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Both races will take place on Silverstone’s short but high speed National circuit which has a reputation for producing close racing. Significantly, Silverstone becomes one of four new circuit configurations that the junior drivers must learn in 2018 as Donington Park, Croft and Snetterton are added to make a six-event calendar.


Each driver is armed with an identical junior-spec version of the sensational Renault UK Clio Cup race car which features at the British Touring Car Championship’s high profile events.


These are modified to meet junior racing regulations – cue a 100mph speed limit, five gears instead of six and high performance Michelin road tyres instead of racing ‘slicks’. However their Renault Sport design and engineering makes them the most technically advanced saloon cars in the junior racing marketplace…


Guiseley’s Lorcan Hanafin returns for the Team Pyro squad with which he achieved three wins and an unrivalled seven pole positions en route to second overall in 2017’s championship.


Gus Burton was also a title contender in 2017 before being side-lined by a hand injury so expect the 15-year-old from Colchester – in his distinctive ‘Sparkle Malawi’ car – to be right at the heart of the action.

Ditto JamSport Racing’s Louis Doyle, also aged 15 – the Chorley youngster was fastest of all in Silverstone’s official pre-season test.


Two new teams join for 2018 as well: Specialized Motorsport with Nick Reeve and Finsport with the category’s first female racer, Jamie-Lea Hawley. Both were front-runners in 2017’s Fiesta Junior championship in which Reeve finished runner-up with an unrivalled six wins.


The Clio Cup Junior drivers will first be on track at Silverstone at 10:15 on Saturday with a free practice session ahead of qualifying 14:10-14:30 that afternoon. Their fastest and second fastest qualifying lap times will determine their grid positions for races one and two – 11:45-12:05 and 16:10-16:40 on Sunday.


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