16/02/2017

Ciceley, Pyro, Westbourne get 2017 UK Clio Cup pre-season testing under way

Pre-season testing among the Renault UK Clio Cup’s teams in 2017 has got under way in the last week with the Ciceley, Pyro and Westbourne Motorsport outfits all on track and 2016’s title-winner JamSport Racing soon to join them.
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Ciceley and Pyro were on track together at Donington Park on Tuesday. Ciceley fielded cars for its 2016 Graduates Cup Champion Max Coates and new signings Luke Reade and Sam Osborne.

Meanwhile Ollie Pidgley (a Ciceley driver in 2016) had his first outing with Pyro and was joined by its new 16-year-old karting sensation Jack McCarthy.

Coates joined a growing number of drivers to have now tried the new Michelin tyre to be used in 2017’s UK Clio Cup and, like them, was of the same opinion when asked about its performance.

“It’s a faster tyre and we’re getting more longevity out of it,” he reported. “The main gains seem to be corner entry and then the later phase of a corner.

“A lot of our running was about seeing how the car reacted on the Michelin tyre and we got some very interesting feedback. As for my times… well I was on pole position at Donington last year so let’s just say I was very happy with what we managed.”

Pidgley is also sure the Michelin tyre should see an even faster UK Clio Cup in 2017. He said: “Very quickly we were able to lap quicker than I managed at Donington last year.

“It’s a softer compound but with stiffer side walls so there’s a slightly different art to getting them to come in at the right time. But it’s definitely a faster tyre and it’s lasting longer as well.”

For Reade and Osborne, Donington’s test had different meaning. Reade explained: “Really for both Sam and I this was our first ever proper test in the UK Clio Cup car.

“It was all about seeing how the team (Ciceley) work and getting laps under our belt and it was a very productive day.”

Meanwhile Westbourne ran at Brands Hatch late last week with former driver James Colburn shaking down one of its brand new UK Clio Cup race cars (the Worthing concern recently announced it had signed both James Dorlin and Myles Collins for 2017).

JamSport is expected on track at Snetterton today (Thursday) having recently announced Nathan Harrison as one of its drivers for the forthcoming season.