As the New Year dawns and preparations gather momentum for the 2014 Renault UK Clio Cup season, the first to feature the latest generation turbo-charged racing Clio, championship organisers are pleased to confirm 15 of the new cars are ready to race in the flagship British category – with more anticipated to join prior to the opening event of the season.
With almost three months still remaining until the start of the new campaign, the ante-chamber to the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship looks set to be as popular as ever as existing and newcomer driver-owners and teams continue to place orders for the sensational 1.6-litre Clio.
Category race winner Lee Pattison is the latest driver to purchase the fourth generation car, joining the likes of Masters Cup stalwart Finlay Crocker who was the first competitor from the Renault UK Clio Cup to take delivery of one of the new Renault Clios.
Reigning and multiple title winning squad Team Pyro, which took a clean sweep of championship crowns last season, has purchased five new Clios for its Renault UK Clio Cup operation with the rebranded SV Racing – formerly Scuderia Vittoria – buying two cars and 20Ten Racing securing three of the 2014 specification machines.
Mainstay entrants Total Control Racing and JHR Developments have each purchased one car apiece while championship newcomer, and motorsport returnee, Daniel Rowbottom has already begun testing his Clio which will be run under the DRM Motorsport banner.
“We’re delighted we have 15 new Clios ready to race in this year’s Renault UK Clio Cup, it’s a very strong and pleasing start as we prepare for the 2014 season”, said Renault UK Communications Director, Jeremy Townsend, “We’ll be showcasing the new Clio on the BARC [British Automobile Racing Club] stand at Autosport International next week, where we’re hopeful of more orders.
“The championship organisers are in regular contact with existing competitors, as well as a number of potential owner-drivers looking at racing in the Clio Cup for the first time, and we’re confident we’ll be able to confirm our target of 20 cars in the coming weeks.”
Behind the scenes, the structure of the Renault UK Clio Cup organising team has been refreshed with Ian Watson of the BARC now taking a more hands-on role with championship promotion as well as a greater presence at the track alongside long-standing category co-ordinator Pauline Hillon. The BARC will also take on responsibility for all financial aspects associated with the running of the championship.
Simon North, who was entrusted with the rejuvenation of the Renault UK Clio Cup throughout 2013, now takes on an umbrella role as a consultant overseeing key areas, such as marketing, and working closely with both Renault UK and the BARC to help drive the series on to even greater heights.
North’s company Grovewood PR continues as the designated media consultancy for the Renault UK Clio Cup, building on the strong foundations already put in place. From a technical perspective, the championship’s official parts supply will continue to be provided by Renault mainstay R Sport.
“I’m very much looking forward to having a more central role within the organisation of the Renault UK Clio Cup this year, it’s the start of an exciting new era and we’re all determined to build on the amazing success which the championship has enjoyed year-on-year”, said the BARC’s Ian Watson.
“We had a sensational final season for the third generation car last year, Simon [North] and the team did a tremendous job and we’re all committed to making the first season for the latest turbo powered Clio one to remember.”
The brand new 1.6-litre, turbo-charged racing Clio will be displayed at the Autosport International Show at Birmingham’s NEC next week as part of the Renault stand. Masters Cup competitor Finlay Crocker has kindly loaned Renault UK his newly acquired fourth generation car for the purpose.
The latest racing Clio will feature alongside the road-going Clio Renaultsport 200 Turbo EDC, the recently face-lifted Mégane Renaultsport 265 and the previous generation Clio race car from the Michelin Clio Cup Race Series. Renaultsport’s single-seater prowess will also be on display on the stand, No. 7430, with a new generation Formula Renault 2.0 kindly supplied by Fortec Motorsport.
Existing and prospective teams are also able to learn more about the new technology involved in the fourth generation racing Renault Clio at R Sport’s South London base near Wimbledon, where an example of the 2014 car is currently housed.
Autosport International opens to trade visitors at 09.00 on Thursday, 9th January, and Friday, 10th January, with members of the public able to attend the show on Saturday, 11th January, and Sunday, 12th January. Visit the show website www.autosportinternational.com for more details.