Westbourne Motorsport will field an exciting four car entry in the 2013 Renault UK Clio Cup, which gets underway less than a fortnight from now at Brands Hatch in Kent, with category race-winner James Colburn (Worthing) returning to spearhead the team’s title attack.
Joining the 20-year-old at the West Sussex squad, which is led by his father Richard, will be second year Clio Cup competitor Mike Bushell (Tunbridge Wells), championship newcomer Jordan Stilp (Northampton) and Maltese car racing rookie Jacques Mizzi.
Colburn, who enters his fifth consecutive year in the Renault UK Clio Cup this season, had a mixed campaign in 2012 with misfortune blunting his title bid. He did, though, prove his credentials with a dominant double victory during rounds five and six at Thruxton.
He first entered the coveted club of Clio Cup race winners in 2011, his most successful year to date in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship support category. Concluding that season third overall in the title race, he was actually tied on points with Vice-Champion Aron Smith who has since graduated into the BTCC.
Bushell, who ran with his own team for most of his rookie season in 2012, joined Westbourne for the series finale at Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit and made a major impression with a season-best second place – coupled with the fastest lap – during round 16. Although consistently running in the top 10 in his debut year, the 23-year-old really came to the fore after linking-up with Westbourne.
Renault UK Clio Cup debutant Stilp arrives in the high-profile category with two years of experience in cars. The 18-year-old followed up an impressive maiden season in the Ma5da Mk1 Championship in 2011 with a superb run to the Vice-Champion’s position in the Ma5da MX5 Cup last year, taking seven wins along the way.
Karting graduate Mizzi, who only became involved with the sport less than five years ago, got his first taste of a Clio Cup car with Westbourne during a test outing at Brands Hatch last October. The 20-year-old, who has enjoyed championship success in his native Malta in the ranks of KF1 karting, has his sights set on a future in touring car racing and is relishing the challenge of the Clio Cup.
“This is a really exciting year for the team”, commented Richard Colburn, “We have a great blend of proven podium finishers, with James and Mike together, and two talented newcomers to the series in Jordan and Jacques – both have really impressed me in pre-season testing.
“I feel we really have a chance to challenge for both the driver and team titles in 2013, everybody at Westbourne has worked really hard throughout the winter and we all look forward to the first green lights signalling the season opener at Brands Hatch over the Easter weekend.”
With several more drivers set to be officially confirmed for the 2013 Renault UK Clio Cup on Thursday, 21st March, at Silverstone during the championship Media Day, series organisers are confident of an impressively strong grid in terms of both quantity and quality.
The opening two races of the new season will take place over the weekend 30th/31st March at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit in Kent.