The cars – in stunning ‘day-glo’ orange livery – are currently travelling by ship to Dubai in a specially designed container and are due to dock on Christmas Day! The race is on 12-13 January.
Max Coates, a double race winner for Ciceley in 2017’s UK Clio Cup, will be among the driver line up. Joining him will be fellow UK Clio Cup front-runner Daniel Rowbottom and Ciceley’s British Touring Car ace Adam Morgan. The team was on the look-out for more drivers as we went to press…
Both cars have undergone modifications for the round-the-clock event. Ciceley’s Commercial Director Norman Burgess explained: “Both engines have been re-mapped by Renault Sport Racing.
“There’s a performance mode and economy mode but also we have to get it working to the 60kph limit in case of a virtual safety car scenario plus the 40kph pit lane speed restrictor.”
A side exhaust has also been fitted to each car. “That enables us to put in a 100-litre 2018 FIA-spec fuel cell and make a flat floor on the car,” added Burgess.
“We’ve actually gone with the standard UK Clio Cup engine instead of using the Renault Sport Racing endurance racing engine.
“The endurance version is a bit more powerful but it uses a bit more fuel as a result. We might lose out a bit therefore on sheer performance but we hope to claw some of that back at least with fewer refuelling pit stops during the 24 hours.
“It also means we can modify the cars quickly back to full UK Clio Cup specification prior to us commencing our pre-season testing programme for the 2018 season.”
Other areas have also needed addressing for the demands of a 24-hour race. Burgess continued: “We have uprated suspension and brakes – Dubai is an F1-type circuit so we’re expecting the brakes to do a whole race although we have spare discs and pads at the ready.
“We’re also taking a spare car with us – everything bar the shell! We’ve got four front ends and four rear ends with completed uprights so they are ready to bolt on-bolt off just in case.
“The drivers of course will be going into the night and will need to be able to read the dash clearly. So we’ve installed what we call a ‘black light’ – it ensures all the dials glow in the dark.”
The 1.6-litre cars will be aiming for the A2 class title (for up to 1800cc) and prior to shipping both completed 150 problem-free laps of testing at Donington Park. And while the UK Clio Cup is renowned for producing future BTCC stars it has also helped prepare numerous drivers for successful careers in GT competition – a fact not lost on Ciceley.
Burgess said: “We’d like to run the Clio Cup cars in other endurance events at Silverstone and Monza.
“The UK Clio Cup produces plenty of the top touring car names – everyone knows that. But we also believe the ‘Gen 4’ Clio Cup race car is perfect, particularly when it comes to budget, for drivers who want a first taste of GT racing.”