Deegan immediately showed promise when he contested four UK Clio Cup events last year with the Cooksport squad – in between dominating the club-level Mini Miglia scene. He’s also a former champion in stock hatch and grass track car racing…
Now though the 22-year-old says the UK Clio Cup gives him his best chance of progressing to the dizzy heights of the British Touring Car Championship – the premier motor racing category in the land.
His campaign will be supported by Regency Autos and SBM Engineering with technical support from Owens Fabrication.
Deegan commented: “It’s going to be a big challenge – taking on much bigger teams than ours. They are all three or four cars so to go it alone is quite a task but we’re totally up for it. If we start getting in among the action at the front then it’ll be even sweeter.
“And I’ll still be getting assistance from Josh Cook (BTCC star) in the Friday test sessions and I’m bringing my engineer from Cooksport, Rob Drake.”
All 18 races on the 2017 UK Clio Cup calendar take place at the BTCC’s high-profile events meaning huge trackside crowds as well as live free-to-air TV coverage on ITV4 for its teams, drivers and sponsors. The season starts at Brands Hatch, Kent on Sat 1/Sun 2 April and also includes rounds at Deegan’s home circuit of Rockingham in August.
“We’re actually at Rockingham next Friday (17 March) showing off our new-look car for the first time at the UK Clio Cup pre-season Media Day,” added Deegan.
“I really enjoyed the four events I did last year – it was a big wake-up call as I’d been used to having it my own way in Minis! But I love the type of racing involved – it’s incredibly close.
“The exposure is massive and it’s pretty obvious that, after the BTCC, the UK Clio Cup is the one the people paying to come through the gate and watching on ITV4 want to see the most. That’s important when it comes to working with partners who we could take into the BTCC but it’ll be a couple of seasons in Clios first at least.”
Renault Sport’s UK Motorsport Championship Manager Will Fewkes said: “This is a bold move by Shayne but also one to be applauded. He’s a very exciting talent taking full advantage of the sensible budgets and the very level playing field the UK Clio Cup is renowned for and making it happen… it might be a small team but it is determined, well prepared and could just come away with some very big results.”