Former British GT Championship racer Josh Wakefield (Colchester) and motor racing returnee Devon Modell (London) will make their respective debuts in the Renault UK Clio Cup this year after finalising deals with front-running squad Scuderia Vittoria.
Wakefield, a multiple podium finisher in the GT4 Class of the 2011 British GT Championship, makes the move back to front-wheel drive racing having originally cut his teeth in the SaxMax series in 2009 where he was the Rookie Champion.
Switching to the Trofeo Abarth 500 category in 2010, ending the season fifth overall with several podiums to his credit, the Essex driver then embarked on a strong campaign in British GT where he was fourth overall in GT4, teaming with Jake Rattenbury, taking one win and four other podiums.
“Josh has had a couple of testing years in different formulas, but has been able to show that he possesses great pace”, said Scuderia Vittoria team principal Danny Buxton, the 2001 Renault UK Clio Cup Champion, “I’m really pleased to be able to bring him back to front-wheel drive cars and I’m confident that he will be able to perform extremely well in 2013.”
Modell, who is a former Stars of Tomorrow [now Formula Kart Stars] Mini Max Champion, makes a welcome return to active competition after several years away from motorsport. The new Renault UK Clio Cup season will be his first in cars, although he did previously test a Renault Clio in 2011 with Scuderia Vittoria.
Originally starting out in Super 1 National Cadet Championship karting in 2002, the Kent-born racer progressed into Mini Max where he enjoyed a superbly successful campaign in 2005 – winning the Stars of Tomorrow title, finishing third in the Kartmasters Grand Prix and runner-up in the Super 1 Mini Max category. Following graduation to Rotax Max, Modell’s last appearance was four years ago.
Speaking on the Londoner’s arrival into the all-action Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship feeder series, Scuderia Vittoria’s Buxton added: “Devon is a really exciting talent that held a huge reputation in karting by beating the likes of Max Chilton [2013 Marussia Formula 1 Team driver] and Adrian Quaife-Hobbs [2012 AUTO GP Champion] along the way.
“I have been chasing Devon for the last two years, as he tested with us at Snetterton previously and was immediately on the pace. He is a very intelligent, calm and confident driver who possesses great pace, and I am sure that he will surprise a lot of people in the TOCA paddock in 2013.”
Scuderia Vittoria, which fielded as many as five Renault Clios last season, is expected to run an even larger squad this year with additional driver announcements expected in due course. Following the official Media Day at Silverstone in Northamptonshire on Thursday, 21st March, the 16-round season will get underway on 30th/31st March at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit in Kent.