A look back in pictures at another sensational season for the Renault UK Clio Cup in which a staggering 14 new qualifying and race lap records were set…
Increased levels of competition, teams further perfecting the set-ups of the latest Clio Cup race car (now in its fourth season) and the return of Michelin all added up to the incredible speeds witnessed.
Live air time of the British Touring Car Championship’s high profile events at which the UK Clio Cup features also reached record levels – 144.5 hours in total. The number of people attending events continued to rise, too, to 385,100 across the ten fixtures (UK Clio Cup features at nine).
And as we went to press there was another good news story as new Champion Mike Bushell confirmed he will be on the BTCC grid in 2018.
As we look ahead to 2018’s UK Clio Cup (it all starts again at Brands Hatch on 7-8 April), here’s what caught our eye in 2017…
No.1: Lucas Orrock tests the strength of the UK Clio Cup car to the limit at Donington Park as he rolls five times after an incident at the head of the pack triggered a chain reaction behind. CLICK HERE to watch the accident in-car.
No.2: Westbourne Motorsport’s James Dorlin achieves his first UK Clio Cup race win in dramatic style by pipping Team Pyro’s Mike Bushell to the line at Thruxton by just 67 thousandths of a second. CLICK HERE to see how it looked from inside his car.
No.3: A huge crowd watches as PP Motorsport’s James Colburn chases Team Pyro’s Mike Bushell for the lead at Oulton Park. A time penalty for Bushell later gave the victory to Colburn – the first win in the championship for the PP concern.
No.4: Ciceley Motorsport’s Jade Edwards gives everyone behind a fright as she spins at high speed on the opening lap at Oulton Park. WDE Motorsport’s Dan Zelos takes avoiding action
No.5: Nicolas Hamilton pushes his stunning looking WDE car to the edge during qualifying at Croft. With a style all of his own, the brother of four-time F1 world champ Lewis proved a real draw for the huge numbers of trackside of fans on his return to the championship.
No.6: It’s GO at Rockingham! Never did the UK Clio Cup grid look more colourful in 2017. Winners of the two races that weekend in August, WDE’s Lee Pattison (left) and Ciceley’s Max Coates, lead the charge to the first bend. In fifth (car no.4) who took his first podium result of the year with third in race one…
No.7: After a horrid start to his debut season in the championship, the determined Lucas Orrock leads for the first time at a rain-soaked Silverstone in September. The Pyro driver would finish second for his first podium result in the category.
No.8: The WDE team goes wild on the pit wall as its triple champion Paul Rivett crosses the line to win in his 200th UK Clio Cup race – race two at Silverstone. Right behind is Mike Bushell – second place more than enough to guarantee him of a second title. As scripts go, it didn’t get much better for ITV4’s viewers in 2017…
No.9: New Champion Mike Bushell leads the pack en route to wins in both final rounds on the famous Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit in early October. Right behind is Dan Zelos who achieved his first two podium results with second place in each race.
No.10: Bradley Burns puts his Michelin tyres to the limit heading onto through Surtees Bend onto the Brands Hatch GP loop. The 16-year-old Pyro driver was one of several terrific young, new finds in 2017 having set a new race lap record at Silverstone three weeks earlier…
I had no idea the new Renault Alpine was that fast. . .