Renault UK Clio Cup mainstay James Colburn (Worthing) will return for a title challenge in 2014 in the latest generation 1.6-litre turbo-charged Clio, spearheading a planned multi-car entry at race winning squad Westbourne Motorsport.
Although still only 21-years-old, Colburn has accrued a huge amount of experience in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship feeder series since debuting back in 2009 off the back of becoming the SaxMax Champion aged just 16.
Entering his sixth season of Renault UK Clio Cup racing this year, the West Sussex driver will begin the campaign as one of the main championship challengers and is determined to mount a sustained title bid.
Finishing fourth overall last year, with two race victories and two other podiums to his credit, his best season to date came in 2011 where he ended the campaign tied on points with Vice-Champion Aron Smith – who went on to graduate into the BTCC – after taking one win and six other podiums.
“I’m really looking forward to being back in Clios and racing the new car”, said Colburn, “[Team] Pyro ought to have a slight advantage over the rest of us due to running the car in Europe last year, but it’s obviously a lot hotter there so the characteristics of the car may change in the UK weather.
“We need to learn the car quickly and hopefully we’ll be able to fight for the championship, we don’t know yet who we’ll be up against though. It sounds like quite a few of last season’s top guys might be back and we still don’t know if Josh Files [2013 Renault UK Clio Cup Champion] will return. Either way, it’s going to be a very tough championship to try and win, as it always is.”
Westbourne, which has undoubtedly become one of the cornerstone teams in Renault UK’s flagship championship in recent years, is once again committed to fielding a multi-car entry and is currently in discussion with several experienced contenders as well as category newcomers.
Rockingham confirmed as venue for Renaultsport UK Media Day
At the Autosport International Show in Birmingham last week, where Renaultsport’s race car and road car prowess proved a major attraction for the tens of thousands of motorsport enthusiasts filing through the doors, Renault UK Clio Cup organisers were able to confirm the 2014 pre-season ‘Media Day’ will take place on Wednesday, 19th March, at Rockingham in Northamptonshire.
Avoiding any clash with the equivalent for the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship, which takes place the day prior at Donington Park in Leicestershire, the annual Renaultsport UK Media Day also marks the sole official pre-season test for the Renault UK Clio Cup competitors and teams.
Offering a perfect opportunity for race goers to get an early glimpse of the runners and riders for the new campaign, this year’s Media Day will be of particular interest as it will be the first collective test on UK soil for the fourth generation turbo-powered Renault Clio Cup race car.
The championship season itself, which will be contested across 18 races over nine weekends, begins on 29th/30th March at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit in Kent as support to the BTCC.
Renault UK Clio Cup is supported by ELF, Performance Friction, WP Racing and official tyre supplier Dunlop.