The reason is simple – a switch to Michelin race tyres. Every driver to have tested the French make’s rubber so far has reported the tyres are not only faster but also last longer at peak performance.
They are also saying that the Michelins’ behaviour is making the cars even more lively – as if that’s possible. We can’t wait to see it get under way at Brands Hatch on Sat 1/Sun 2 April. Likewise on ITV4 which will be showing the action live on the Sunday from the event which also includes the opening rounds of the British Touring Car Championship.
Max Coates, third in 2016’s championship, said. “The Michelin tyres mean you can get in more ‘banzai’ laps in qualifying which means the qualifying sessions are also going to be very busy.”
A switch to Michelin tyres is not the only noticeable change for 2017’s UK Clio Cup. Recently announced has been a new points system whereby points from all 18 races now count (the championship had previously used a ‘two dropped scores’ rule).
In addition there have been some exciting new signings to the UK Clio Cup grid for 2017. Notably reigning Champion squad JamSport has announced rapid one-make saloon car racer Nathan Harrison from Oxford will be part of its line-up. In response the team it knocked off top spot in 2016, Pyro, has brought in 16-year-old – yes, 16! – European karting sensation Jack McCarthy from Kent.
Another top name, Westbourne Motorsport which is returning to the grid for the first time in three years, has also confirmed two front-running drivers, both from Yorkshire – Harrogate’s Myles Collins and Barnsley’s James Dorlin, winner of 2016’s club-level BARC Michelin Clio Cup Series.
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Before that meanwhile comes the championship’s annual pore-season media launch – to be held at the Rockingham circuit in Northamptonshire on Friday 17 March.
The day will see the full 2017 UK Clio Cup entry list revealed before they head on track for a number of photo and video shoots. This year’s event will also include activity for the new UK Clio Cup Junior category.
Media wishing to attend should email UK Clio Cup Media Officer firstname.lastname@example.org
Renault Sport enthusiasts are also welcome to attend the event. Admission is free.
The full UK Clio Cup race calendar is below. Meanwhile fans can keep up to the action with the following official accounts:
Race dates: 2017 Renault UK Clio Cup
Sat 1-Sun 2 April Brands Hatch (Indy), Kent
Sat 15-Sun 16 April Donington Park, Leics
Sat 6-Sun 7 May Thruxton, Hants
Sat 20-Sun 21 May Oulton Park, Cheshire
Sat 10-Sun 11 June Croft, North Yorks
Sat 29-Sun 30 July Snetterton, Norfolk
Sat 26-Sun 27 Aug Rockingham, Northants
Sat 16-Sun 17 Sept Silverstone, Northants
Sat 30 Sept-Sun 1 Oct Brands Hatch (GP circuit), Kent