Promising young saloon car racer Charlie Ladell will graduate into the Courier Connections Renault UK Clio Cup for the fourth event of the season at Oulton Park International Circuit on 7th/8th June, it is officially confirmed today, having completed a deal with WDE Motorsport.
Beyton-based Ladell, who gained his first experience of Renault Clio action during last November’s Autumn Cup event where he claimed an outstanding second place on his debut in the previous generation race car, will team-up alongside multiple category champion Paul Rivett (Banstead).
Aged just 17-years-old, Ladell becomes the youngest driver on the Renault UK Clio Cup grid and will therefore be the youngest driver to have raced the latest specification 1.6-litre turbo-charged car on British soil. Beginning the year with WDE in club-level Fiesta racing, the Suffolk racer now makes the full-time transition to Renault UK’s flagship championship.
“I’ve known the guys at WDE for three years now, we all get on really well – we’re like a little family to be honest”, explained Ladell, “I couldn’t ask for a better team-mate than Paul [Rivett], nobody knows more about Clio racing and it’s going to be fantastic to benefit from that experience.
“We’re a bit behind with testing, and we’ve obviously missed the first few races, but we should be OK at Oulton. We’re not setting any goals, we’ll see what happens. There is quite a big difference between last year’s car and the new one, I prefer the new Clio to be honest and I’m more confident in it. I can’t wait to be back out in the car, I’m really looking forward to Oulton.”
Starting out in karting back in 2006, Ladell made the move into ‘tin top’ car racing in 2011 in the SaxMax Championship – now rebranded the Junior Saloon Car Championship – where he finished seventh overall and was named ‘Rookie of the Year’.
Stepping-up into the Vortex Motorsport News Fiesta Junior Championship the following year, Ladell secured a memorable title triumph and, with it, the opportunity to test with leading Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship squad Motorbase Performance. In 2013, the youngster moved into the senior Fiesta category before joining Westbourne Motorsport for the Renault Clio Autumn Cup.
Ladell’s new team-mate Rivett, who is also the team manager of WDE Motorsport in the Courier Connections Renault UK Clio Cup, is absolutely delighted to have a second car on the grid for rounds seven and eight of the season and relishing the prospect of helping the category rookie develop.
“We’re really pleased to have a second car on the grid, this is part of what we’ve wanted to do with the expansion of the team”, commented Rivett, “Charlie has only had one test in the car up to now, at Anglesey, so we’ll be at Donington and Silverstone this week. We’ll just have to see how he goes at Oulton but Charlie is a great young driver and it’s fantastic to have him as part of the Clio team.”
The Courier Connections Renault UK Clio Cup is additionally supported by ELF, Performance Friction, WP Racing and official tyre supplier Dunlop.