For more than 25 years R Sport directors John Millett and Denise Trigg have overseen this service for Renault’s motor sport activity in the UK. CLICK HERE to discover more about R Sport but John and Denise are the people to call for any team or driver looking to order a new car or components to compete in the UK Clio Cup.
“Ultimately we are the official supplier in the UK and Ireland for Renaultsport parts, both rally and race – anything with a Renaultsport part number,” explains John. “That includes taking orders for latest ‘fourth generation’ UK Clio Cup race cars and then importing them in from the Renaultsport Technologies (RST) factory over the French/English Channel in Dieppe where the cars are built.
“Also ensuring our parts truck is always fully stocked and present at every race event and official test – we carry pretty much absolutely everything the teams will need to keep their cars on track during an event. Bumpers are pretty popular! Our truck also houses a damper dyno for the teams to test dampers on – it’s obviously one of the key areas of performance.
“On average we make at least one trip every week to RST to import new cars that have been ordered or collect latest parts so we are fully stocked. I don’t think we’ve ever had a situation where we weren’t able to keep anyone going on track…
“It’s hugely important in any race championship that there is complete trust by the teams in the parts and technical side of things – we are their safety net if and when things go wrong. It’s a formula we’ve worked at and got right.”
That’s a claim that is fully justified. Team Pyro has won an unrivalled number of UK Clio Cup titles and, having also fielded cars in other championships, it has plenty of praise for R Sport. Pyro Team Principal Mark Hunt comments: “We have been involved in other categories but Renaultsport with the UK Clio Cup really stands out – you can always put your trust in them, particularly in terms of quality and equality.
“With R Sport they also have extremely good processes in place that make sourcing parts fast and easy for teams both at the track and away from events. Likewise ordering new cars. They’ve got it down to a tee…”
Simon Hunt’s 20Ten Racing team has also emerged as a race-winning force in the past two seasons and he explains: “The fact that all parts on every car are marked by Renaultsport and can only be purchased through R Sport to assure full control of eligibility adds to peace of mind for teams. It means we know 100 per cent we are receiving the same treatment and equipment as every other team which removes a lot of the stress and uncertainty that can and does exist in other categories.”
John and Denise are also highly proactive in helping teams in moments of crisis. John continues: “We will be straight over to a team to go over a damaged car and help them make a fair and accurate check list of what needs sourcing. We also like to be on hand to offer any advice during the rebuild process. Certainly time has given us a very good understanding of the cars as well as the regulations…”
John’s and Denise’s experience of all things Renaultsport in the UK dates back to the late 1980s when both worked for the Radbourne Racing concern which was awarded the parts and technical supply contract by the French manufacturer for its motor sport activity in Britain. A decade later, however, Radbourne, closed its doors – cue the birth of R Sport in mid-1999.
“The first job we were given as R Sport was pretty intense,” recalls John. “Import 34 cars for the new UK Clio Cup and another 34 cars for the new carbon-fibre Formula Renault championship that both started in 2000. It was incredible but we filled the order books within days of both championships being announced.
“I have to say the latest-spec UK Clio Cup car is the best that Renaultsport has ever produced – least of all because it so reliable. They are, quite literally, bulletproof.
“It has been great working with so many talented drivers who’ve come through the Renaultsport UK system down the years – Raikkonen, Hamilton, Plato, Priaulx and many more. But the big buzz, just as it is for everyone involved in running the championship, is seeing drivers emerge as real stars of the future.
“In my view the best drivers come and do the UK Clio Cup because they know it is 100 per cent equal. They are able to put their faith in the fact the machinery is controlled and so can concentrate on putting their confidence in their driving. They know in this that the cream will rise to the top.”