McCarthy, still only 16, will become one of the youngest drivers in history to race in the UK Clio Cup when he competes in its opening rounds at his home circuit of Brands Hatch in Kent on the weekend of Sat 1/Sun 2 April.
The Bromley youngster's decision to race in the UK Clio Cup further underlines how increasingly more young racers are viewing the championship as an important part of their future career ambitions in motor sport.
He will arrive in the UK Clio Cup fresh from winning 2016’s British Senior Max Super One and Open crowns. They added to the European and British Junior Max class titles he captured in 2015 when his achievements resulted in him being invited by Ferrari to become a part of its exclusive Driving Academy for young talent…
Notably McCarthy has attracted considerable support for his switch to car racing in the UK Clio Cup from the Shandon Hotel & Spa in Donegal.
“I tested the UK Clio Cup race car late last year and loved it,” commented McCarthy. “So now I want to buck the trend of coming out of karting and taking the single-seater route – I fancy the tin top alternative.
“By entering the UK Clio Cup I can learn all the top British circuits, perform in front of the huge British Touring Car Championship crowds, be seen on TV and gain experience about working with a world-famous car manufacturer. That will stand me in great stead for the future.”
Indeed all 18 of the UK Clio Cup’s races take place at the BTCC’s high-profile events – putting it in front of huge trackside crowds (average 38,000+ in 2016) and live into households across the country with live free-to-air coverage of the action on the ITV4 channel.
Leicester-based Pyro has won six of the last eight drivers’ titles in the UK Clio Cup. Team Principal Mark Hunt said: “We’re really pleased to have attracted Jack to our driver line-up for 2017 – he is a phenomenal talent as his records clearly show and, like some of our previous drivers who have come from karting and gone on to stardom in touring cars, we are really looking forward to seeing him using his considerable skills in the cut and thrust of the UK Clio Cup.”
Renault Sport’s UK Motorsport Championship Manager Will Fewkes added: “Jack’s announcement is great news for the UK Clio Cup grid which, yet again, is proving a real magnet for some of the best young motor racing talent around, particularly with its very obvious relevance to the BTCC. It will be fascinating to see how Jack puts all the race craft and natural speed he has built up in top-level karting to use in the UK Clio Cup which is shaping up to be something very special in 2017.”