Each year for the past decade,an impressive list of successes have been achieved by names who honed their skills in the UK Clio Cup – argued by some to be the finest single make motor racing category in Europe.
This season that trend has continued, starting with the British Touring Car Championship. Senna Proctor, eighth in 2016’s UK Clio Cup, joined fellow past drivers from the championship Lee Wood (2013), Dave Newsham (2014), Josh Cook (2015) and Ashley Sutton (2016) in receiving the BTCC’s Jack Sears Trophy – awarded to the highest placed newcomer across most rounds.
Proctor’s success of course added to that of Ashley Sutton who, just two years after lifting the UK Clio Cup crown, won the BTCC title outright (see separate story).
In fact it was ex-UK Clio Cup drivers who emerged as the top three rookies in 2017’s BTCC with 2016 Champion Ant Whorton-Eales and race-winner Josh Price taking second and third in the category.
Meanwhile 2005 UK Clio Cup Champion Jonathan Adam continued his remarkable run of success in GT racing. Having won back to back British GT crowns in 2015 and 2016,this year he triumphed at the world’s greatest sportscar race, the Le Mans 24 Hours with victory in the LMGTE Pro class for Aston Martin Racing. Among his team-mates was another past Renault Sport UK racer, 1996 Formula Renault runner-up Darren Turner!
To touring car racing overseas, 2002 UK Clio Cup racer Rob Huff was among the TCR International Series leading names with four podium results from 12 races contested, including a victory.
Huff also starred in a one-off return to the BTCC this season (as stand-in team-mate to Proctor) when he led and took a second place outright at Silverstone and has a strong chance still of winning the World Touring Car Championship’s independents’ title. Indeed just recently (19 Nov) he set a new record of nine wins on the fabled Macau street circuit…
Meanwhile Josh Files, UK Clio Cup Champion in 2013, won a second consecutive German TCR title with six victories in total. This was after he had also wrapped up the Middle East TCR championship.