Edwards will join the rest of the grid on track at the Kent circuit tomorrow for two free practice sessions before qualifying and the championship’s opening two races of 2018 on Saturday and Sunday.
The races will be her first in the Clio Cup since Silverstone last September as a heavy start line accident prevented her from taking part in 2017’s final rounds, also at Brands.
Edwards has managed to secure funding for her deal with MRM through her unique ‘9for9’ initiative that used social media platforms to attract sponsors.
With zero pre-season testing, she has also brought in British Touring Car star and former Clio Cup championship runner-up Josh Cook as a mentor to help her get the most out of her car.
The 28-year-old’s family has a long history of racing Renaults in the UK: her father Jim Jnr won the 2000 Clio Cup and 1991 5 GT Turbo crowns and grandfather Jim Snr the 1979 5 TS title!
Edwards, from Northampton, said: “I’m just very happy to be on the grid – it’s a fantastic championship and my results were really starting to improve towards the end of last year with a couple of top-ten finishes. I have to say a huge ‘thank you’ to each of my sponsors and also a lot of fans who’ve been really supportive as well.”
She added: “I like what I see of MRM. They might be a small operation at the moment but they have made an immediate impression in Clio Cup competition, have some very good technical people behind the scenes and are hungry for success.
“Plus their other driver Brett Lidsey is quick so I am sure we will push each other. It’s a nice environment to be in – it’s up to me now to make the most of it.
“I always go into a race weekend with success in mind but nobody can enter one of the hardest championships in Europe with no testing and expect to be putting it on pole position. If I’m just competitive this weekend then life’s good and we can build on things at Donington Park…”
MRM Team Principal Mike Ritchie commented: “This is great news for MRM as we go into our first full season of Clio Cup competition. Jade brings a lot of profile to the team as well as some very enthusiastic sponsors. She was also starting to produce some very good results in 2017 and I’m confident she and Brett will work really well together to improve further on those.”
Renault Sport’s UK Motorsport Championship Manager Will Fewkes said: “We’re delighted to see Jade returning – apart from bringing her own unique style to the grid, she is a great ambassador for the championship and also women in motorsport which is something Renault Sport greatly supports. It’s also great news for MRM who I predict could be in for a very successful time with us.”