Results in all 18 rounds will now count towards a driver’s final points total. Previously the championship had used a ‘two dropped scores’ rule. However the number of points awarded for the top 20 drivers in each race (plus two bonus points for setting the fastest lap) remains unchanged.
Meanwhile the eligible age to qualify for the UK Clio Cup’s Masters Cup – for older drivers – has been lowered to 34 as of 1 April. This had previously been 38.
There has also been a relaxing of the championship’s testing regulations. In 2017 no driver registered for the championship will be permitted to drive a latest-spec UK Clio Cup race car on any part of a circuit within 28 days of it hosting a round.
Previously this restriction applied to both teams and drivers and actually prevented them from running cars at circuits yet to host a round at any time during the season.
In addition the championship’s prize fund has been enhanced for 2017. As in recent seasons the outright Champion will receive a much valued prize test in a latest specification British Touring Car. However the winners of the Masters and Graduates Cup trophies (the latter for first-year drivers aged under 23) will now receive 25 per cent off their registration fees for 2018’s UK Clio Cup.
Renault Sport’s UK Motorsport Championship Manager Will Fewkes commented: “We value greatly the feedback we receive from our teams and stakeholders and these changes are a result of that.
“More than ever young drivers see the UK Clio Cup as the place to be ahead of a step into the British Touring Car Championship so employing an ‘all rounds count’ system gets them thinking more and more like drivers in the BTCC who use a similar system.
“Our revised testing regulations enable our teams to generate more business and we’re also very pleased to reward our Masters and Graduates Cup champions with prizes that are almost double the value what was on offer in 2016.”
All 18 races on the 2017 Renault UK Clio Cup calendar take place at the BTCC’s high profile events – meaning the action will be broadcast live on ITV4 and be watched as well by huge trackside crowds (average 38,000+ in 2016).
The first two races are at the Brands Hatch circuit in Kent on the weekend of Sat 1/Sun 2 April. CLICK HERE for the full race calendar.