Scottish businessman and Renault UK Clio Cup racing driver Finlay Crocker is to embark on the biggest motorsport adventure of his career so far this weekend, 18th/19th May, when he takes on the immense challenge of the spectacular Nurburgring-Nordschleife in Germany.
As one of four legendary circuits on his list of dream racing venues, the 42-year-old from Bathgate in West Lothian jumped at the opportunity to take part in the 60-minute Clio Cup Bohemia encounter which will run as support to the prestigious 41st ADAC Zurich 24 Hour Race.
Currently third in the Masters Cup standings in Renault UK Clio Cup, having led the class following the opening two rounds of the season at Brands Hatch, Crocker is the sole participant from Britain travelling over to the Nordschleife – known worldwide as the ‘Green Hell’ – and will run with his UK series team Scuderia Vittoria.
“I’ve always had it in my mind there are four places I want to race at – Spa [Francorchamps], which I’ve already done twice, Monza, Bathurst and the Nurburgring-Nordschleife”, said the Scotsman, “I saw an email from Simon [North – Renault UK Clio Cup championship manager] earlier in the year saying there was a chance to race in the Bohemia round so I jumped at the opportunity.”
Crocker, who is the Managing Director of concrete drilling and sawing specialist Corecut Ltd, will achieve his dream of racing at the Nurburgring-Nordschleife thanks to key backing from existing Renault UK Clio Cup sponsor Fleetmatics – a leading vehicle tracking company.
“I have to say a huge thank you to Fleetmatics for their support, they’re taking sponsorship of the full car and without them I wouldn’t be able to do this race”, he explained, “I’ve got a few friends going across with me but from the team it’s just my mechanic and then Tom [Ferrier – Scuderia Vittoria director]. It’s a budget-type affair but I quite like that. I’m a bit surprised others from the UK haven’t wanted to do it, but without Fleetmatics I wouldn’t be either!”
With one lap of the Nurburgring-Nordschleife covering a mammoth 25 kilometres, the challenge at the weekend will be unlike anything else the one-make saloon car racer has ever experienced. One thing is for certain, it will be the realisation of a long-held dream for the 10-year racing veteran.
He added: “I’ve never been there, never seen the place, but before we raced at Donington last month in the UK championship, Tom arranged for me to go down to Darren Turner’s simulator to get an idea of what to expect. I’ve obviously watched some You Tube footage as well and have been on the Playstation but that’s the extent of my experience.
“I’m not anticipating any great results, although I think there is a greater spread between the drivers in Europe than in Clio Cup UK. Over here you’ve got most of the grid covered by a second where in Europe you’ve got your group of top guys and then a bigger spread between the others. It’s going to be a huge challenge – the main thing is to enjoy it.”
Crocker’s first experience of the Nurburgring-Nordschleife will come during a one hour practice session tomorrow, Friday, 17th May, at 17.55 (local time). Qualifying will take place at 09.00 (local time) on Saturday, 18th May, with the one hour Clio Cup Bohemia encounter beginning at 09.45 (local time) on Sunday, 19th May.
Renault UK Clio Cup is sponsored by www.buyoils.co.uk with support from ELF, NGK Spark Plugs, WP Racing and official tyre supplier Dunlop.