Hand was among the leading names on the grid in 2014 as he finished eighth overall with the SV Racing squad.
However he has opted to return to Pyro for 2015 having raced for Mark Hunt’s team in his debut season in 2013. Pyro will also run a car for Brett Smith – son of British Touring Car Championship racer Jeff Smith – and oversee a further entry in the Clio Cup for BTCC squad BMR which is expanding into Renault single-model competition with its new signing Ashley Sutton.
The first two races of this year’s 18-race Renault UK Clio Cup season will take place at the world-famous Brands Hatch circuit in Kent on the weekend of Sat 4th/Sun 5th April. All the Clio Cup’s races will take place at BTCC events meaning huge trackside crowds and live television coverage on ITV4.
Hand said: “Pyro keep having a knack of winning the title and it’s the title I want. I think with Brett and Ash we also have the strongest driver line-up out there and we’re all going to push each other like crazy. Ashley I know on a personal level – I know how good he is and he is also one of only a few drivers in the paddock I really respect so I’m looking forward to working with him.
“I also believe Pyro are the best when it comes to running cars in the Clio Cup so I know I’m getting the best treatment with them, plus Andy Priaulx (BTCC star and three-time World Touring Car Champion) will be working with me solely to help me go for the title. I know what job I’ve got to do and that is to win the title.”
Pyro Team Principal Mark Hunt commented: “We’ve got three great talents in Ash, Brett and Ashley in the BMR car and so long as they don’t all fall over one another I expect all three to be pushing right at the front. I remember we had a dream 1-2-3 finish at Rockingham in 2011 and see no reason why we can’t go back to that again…
“Ash had more podium results last year with SVR than he did with us in 2013 but his form was a lot more sporadic. If we can help him keep to that level but, importantly, get the consistency back in him then I believe he can challenge for the title.”