Some 20 cars are entered for the two rounds which both take place on Sunday in between the day’s three headlining Dunlop British Touring Car races – the event is being screened live on ITV4 and expected to attract a mammoth trackside crowd.
The entry includes six drivers who are making their Renault UK Clio Cup debuts as well as a first-ever appearance in the championship by leading European team Rangoni Corse which is bringing two of its cars over from Italy as it assesses a possible full-time campaign in 2016.
Hand, meanwhile, will provisionally become the 2015 Renault UK Clio Cup Champion if his championship lead – currently 31 points when the all-important ‘two dropped scores’ rule is applied – increases to 68 during Sunday’s two races.
Ending Hand’s winning streak in Rockingham’s two races last time out with a victory apiece, however, were his closest challengers, Maximum Motorsport’s Ant Whorton-Eales (Lichfield) and his own BMR Restart-backed Pyro team-mate Ashley Sutton (Bishops Stortford). Both will very definitely have plans to take a title battle that has caught the imagination of the BTCC’s crowds all the way to the season finale at Brands Hatch (Sat 10/Sun 11 Oct).
WDE Motorsport’s Paul Rivett (Epsom), fourth overall, still has a slim chance of a fourth Clio Cup title should the top three falter. His cause could be aided at Silverstone by team-mates Charlie Ladell (Ipswich), Rory Green (Hildenborough) – a best-ever fifth at Rockingham – and the returning Dan Holland (Dagenham) as WDE expands for the first time in its history to a four-car line-up.
Rockingham also saw Rory Collingbourne (Newport, South Wales) and George Jackson (Bedford) both achieve career-bests of fourth and they are joined at Silverstone by debutant Alex Sedgwick (Leamington Spa). Not 17 until December, he becomes the season’s youngest driver to date…
Like Cooksport, 20Ten Racing is three-strong at Silverstone with newcomers Sam Watkins (Swansea) and Tom Butler (Derby) adding to its number alongside Graham Field (Southwell).
There are first appearances, too, from Production GTi racing champion Tom Witts (Rugby) with the Maximum team plus fellow Briton and former Superkart ace Ben Davis (Ledbury) and Italy’s Michele Puccetti (Florence), both with Rangoni Corse.
Looking to build on strong debuts at Rockingham will be Pyro’s Josh Price (Redbourn) and, lining up for the local Northampton-based JamSport Racing team and from the town himself, Luke Kidsley. JamSport’s regular driver Tom Grundy (Jumeirah, Dubai), due some good luck, is potential podium material. Elsewhere watch for Pyro’s Mark Howard (Oakham) who looks to be safe in the Masters Cup class for older drivers but who can still expect a hard time from regular ‘foe’ Field.