The Renault UK Clio Cup teams and drivers are a creative bunch. With a whole winter to work on their 2016 liveries, they got their first chance to show them off in anger at the season opener at the Brands Hatch Indy circuit. They didn’t disappoint.
#5 Ant Whorton-Eales, JamSport Racing
We’ve seen UK Clio Cup cars with some 'bold' wraps before, but Whorton-Eales’ SSFT-sponsored glitter black and metallic green number has raised the game, burning itself onto our retinas. He had a tough opening weekend at Brands Hatch, but a surge from the back to finish eighth and sixth showed his speed. Given Whorton-Eales’ four years of experience in the Championship, he’s sure to be at the sharp end all season - could this finally be his year to claim the big prize?
#4 Ollie Pidgley, Ciceley Motorsport
We love a good 1970s throwback, and nothing screams retro more than a matt-black bonnet! Ollie Pidgley’s Mac Tools-sponsored car looks fantastic, and we’re looking forward to seeing what the UK Clio Cup newcomer is able to achieve this term after success in karts, MSA Formula and the Clio Cup Series. Running under BTCC stalwarts Ciceley Motorsport, don’t bet against some surprise performances from the youngster from Wiltshire after a promising opening weekend.
#3 Darren Johnson, Team Pyro
Okay, we’re sneaking this one in. Darren Johnson missed the opening round at Brands Hatch, but having seen it in action at the Media Day, we couldn’t forget it! Johnson has only planned a part-time Masters campaign in the 2016 UK Clio Cup but, with his KDR Seating-backed car, he’ll be a stand-out at every round he enters. He also receives bonus points for picking a livery seemingly inspired by Renault Sport’s own racing heritage…
#2 Rory Collingbourne, Team Cooksport
There aren’t plans for a UK Clio Cup night race (although that doesn’t sound like a bad idea…) but clearly no one thought to tell Newport’s Rory Collingbourne and Team Cooksport. With backing from Newport Auctions, the blue and yellow machine will stand out in anything up to and including a full solar eclipse. After a sixth place in the 2015 championship, his rivals’ mirrors are sure to be full of neon as he pushes his way up the grid during the rest of the season.
#1 Josh Price, Team Pyro
If there were championship points at stake for commitment to your chosen livery (there aren’t, sorry…) Redbourn’s Josh Price would have streaked into an early season lead. A bold pink, white and blue paint scheme carried over from his first outings in the final three rounds of 2015 – combined with matching race overalls – leaves Josh top of our livery league for 2016.
With 23 cars on the grid, and quality teams up and down the pit lane, this season’s Championship could go down as the greatest of all time. The season continues on 16th/17th April at Leicestershire’s Donington Park circuit, with all of the action live on ITV4 on Sunday 17th April.