The Lincolnshire squad is new to the UK Clio Cup in 2016 yet in just six races its distinctive Terraclean-backed car, driven by Spires, has impressed mightily – both on and off the track.
On the team’s debut at Brands Hatch, Spires qualified sixth and seventh fastest for the two grids. More recently at Thruxton he was at it again with seventh place on both grids, only this time that qualifying performance was backed up by two real breakthrough results as he finished sixth and then fifth in the two races.
An engineering partnership behind the scenes with former front-running team Westbourne Motorsport has undoubtedly helped, but the rest is very much all PP’s doing and Team Principal John Creasey is already hungry for more.
“Our aim was always be into the top ten by the end of the season and we’re ahead of schedule on that,” he commented. “A lot of the success is down to pulling the right people together behind the scenes. A lot of planning has one into this – we’ve carefully selected a team to do a job and it’s working really well.
“Part of it, though,is also the fact we’ve been given a really fair crack of the whip at this by Renault Sport on the technical and promotion side. We liked what they had to tell us before committing and it’s very much over-delivering for us.
“After Thruxton I really believe we can move forward and become even more competitive, even by Oulton Park in a few weeks’ time. We are chasing tenths, not seconds – it’s very fine margins we are talking about. I’m hopeful that a few more refinements and we’ll be on course for a first podium result.”
Spires also believes that lessons are being learnt quickly and in fact says he was disappointed with fifth at Thruxton. The 23-year-old explained: “I was fourth starting that last lap but Lee Pattison got me right at the end. I was a bit gutted, but it’s all part of the learning curve.
“This is my first full season of racing since 2014 so I feel a bit reborn again suddenly being up against the likes of Rivett, Pattison and Bushell but we are all in it together at PP Motorsport. We all know what the longer-term ambition is and we are working towards that.
“If there’s one main area we need to get on top of it’s tyre management. That I’m sure is why Pattison got me at Thruxton – I wasn’t quite able to hang on to the end. We are talking only small things but, added up, they can make quite a difference to the end result.
“Oulton is next up and, like Thruxton, it is one of my strongest circuits so I know my head will be in a good place when we go out on track there.”
PP’s ethos is to stand out from the crowd and on the marketing front there have already been real results for those sponsors and partners which have become involved in its UK Clio Cup programme.
Creasey continued: “Being a one-car team and doing so well at such a high level is a massive achievement and we are being noticed in all sorts of places whether it’s regional or national trade media or overseas agents of some of our sponsors – only last week another of our partners, AlloyGator, was spreading the word in North America!
“PP Motorsport is borne out of my own company, Paint Perfect, and certainly the speed that the championship is helping the business to grow with new leads – in other words the association through the racing in the UK Clio Cup – is unbelievable.
“Also the feedback from our sponsors has been absolutely fantastic – we’ve built up a really good network around our UK Clio Cup race team. Coverage on ITV4, being part of a big occasion and what you do with it are all key – it goes way beyond just getting your name on a racing car. We promote heavily away from race weekends using the car at events that might be totally unconnected to motor sport – that always draws the crowds and sparks enquiries.
“The aspiration is to be in British Touring Cars in 2020. We see 2016 as a learning curve year so we all get to know what it’s about and then, hopefully, a shot at the title in 2017 while then starting to bring in additional cars to the grid.”