Scottish racer Finlay Crocker has this afternoon, Monday, 18th August, confirmed his participation in this coming weekend’s Courier Connections Renault UK Clio Cup races at Knockhill in Fife – his return to the category bringing the grid for rounds 13 and 14 up to a season-best 16 cars.
Competing full-time this year in the Eurocup Clio series with Team Pyro, the former Renault UK Clio Cup Masters Cup class race winner is absolutely delighted to be rejoining the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship feeder series for its first visit north of the border since 2010.
His eleventh hour deal to add the Knockhill races to his existing 2014 racing programme has been made possible thanks to extra support from Corecut, FleetMatics, One Call Insurance, Alan Steel Asset Management and Investec.
Contesting the Knockhill races alongside Mike Bushell (Tunbridge Wells) and Lee Pattison (Scholes) at Pyro, the 44-year-old’s arrival also boosts the Masters Cup class to its biggest ever level with six drivers set to battle it out in the championship within a championship.
“It’s going to be great racing at Knockhill again”, said the Bathgate-based driver, “We’ve been able to put together a last-minute deal with the support of my Eurocup sponsors, huge thanks to those guys. I’m really looking forward to being back in the British championship, the aim is to go out there, keep my head down and enjoy it. It’ll be my first time at Knockhill racing anything at this level.
“I want to try and be as competitive as I can, I’d like to be more competitive than I have in the past in the Renault UK Clio Cup but I haven’t raced at Knockhill regularly since about 2008 and there have been a few tweaks and changes to the layout of the circuit since then. With guys like [Paul] Rivett and [Lee] Pattison in the Masters Cup now, that’s a very high standard to be up against too.”
After making his car racing debut back in 2003, Crocker was Vice-Champion of the Scottish MINI Cooper Cup in 2004 and 2005 and then made his first appearance in the Renault UK Clio Cup in 2007. After some time away from competitive action, he returned to the MINI series and then contested his first full Renault UK Clio Cup campaign in 2012.
Finishing runner-up in the Masters Cup class that year to current BTCC competitor Simon Belcher (Swindon), Crocker went on to claim his first class victories the following season and also made his European competition debut in the Clio Cup Bohemia race at the Nurburgring-Nordschleife.
So far this year in the blue riband Eurocup Clio series, Crocker has a best result of 15th position under his belt from the most recent event at Germany’s Nurburgring. He did also make a return to the full length ‘Nordschleife’ earlier in the year where he made huge strides compared to his 2013 outing, posting a seventh place finish and taking the chequered flag within 10 seconds of the race winner.
“I’ve really enjoyed working with Mark [Hunt – Pyro team principal] and the guys in Europe this year, so it’s great to be racing with them at Knockhill too”, added Crocker, “Racing in the Eurocup this year has given me the opportunity to visit circuits I’ve always wanted to drive, it’s a bit of a challenge to say the least but I’m really enjoying it. I’d like to think at Knockhill I can be reasonably competitive.”
Officially timed testing for the Courier Connections Renault UK Clio Cup competitors at Knockhill will take place on Friday, 22nd August. Qualifying and round 13 are timetabled for Saturday, 23rd August, at 09.00 and 15.50 respectively while on Sunday, 24th August, round 14 – which will be screened live on ITV4 and ITV4 HD – will begin at 12.30. Live streaming will be available at www.itv.com/btcc
The Courier Connections Renault UK Clio Cup is additionally supported by ELF, Performance Friction, WP Racing and official tyre supplier Dunlop.