Renault UK Clio Cup have officially announced the entry list for the 2016 season, following their launch day at Rockingham Motor Speedway on March 23.
The series which, over the years, has nurtured talent such as British Touring Car champions Andrew Jordan and Colin Turkington, among others, has seen 2015 champion Ashley Sutton earn a place on the Touring Car grid for 2016.
Ashley Sutton will line up alongside 2014 Clio Cup runner-up, Josh Cook, for team Triple Eight.
2015 Clio Cup runner-up, Ash Hand, is also missing from the entry list, leaving Ant Whorton-Eales and Paul Rivett as early favourites to battle for the championship in 2016.
Sutton commented, “The UK Clio Cup is route number one – if you want to be a BTCC driver you need to be in a UK Clio Cup car. It’s the first place the BTCC teams look.
“The car is like a mini touring car.
“Plus the racing is bumper-to-bumper, similar to the BTCC, so you feel comfortable making the jump and the competition is very intense so you learn how to look after yourself and handle situations.
“I am over the moon to be able to announce this news and now really looking ahead to the BTCC, but I’ll never forget my time in the UK Clio Cup and what it’s done for me.”
Renault Sport’s UK Motorsport Championship Manager, Will Fewkes said of the moves,
“Ashley’s (Sutton) and Josh’s (Cook) appointments really add extra credibility to the type of driver being produced by the UK Clio Cup.”
Of the new season, series spokesman Carl McKellar, said,
“2015 was pretty exceptional in terms of competition, controversy, rivalry, unpredictability, fightback etc. at the front – probably the best there has been.
“Sutton, Hand, Whorton-Eales, Rivett – we had four fantastic drivers locking horns and there were others coming through such as Ladell, Collingbourne who should be in there as well this time around.”
The full list of entrants is as follows: (Car number, Driver (Nationality), Hometown, Team)
1. Mike Bushell (GBR), Tunbridge Wells, Kent, Team Pyro
3. Ollie Pidgley (GBR), Salisbury, Wilts, Ciceley Motorsport
7. Sam Watkins (GBR), Swansea, Glamorgan, 20Ten Racing
8. Luke Kidsley (GBR), Duston, Northants, JamSport Racing
10. Ant Whorton-Eales (GBR), Lichfield, Staffs, JamSport with AWE Motorsport
11. Anton Spires (GBR), Buckingham, PP Motorsport
13. Rory Collingbourne (GBR), Newport, Gwent, Team Cooksport
20. Paul Plant (GBR), Copthorne, West Sussex, Vanquish Motorsport with WDE
22. Paul Rivett (GBR), Epsom Downs, Surrey, WDE Motorsport
23. Charles Ladell (GBR), Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, WDE Motorsport
24. George Jackson (GBR), Bedford, Team Cooksport
26. Paul Streather (GBR), Hinckley, Leics, Finesse Motorsport/Paul Streather
28. Josh Price (GBR), Redbourn, Herts, Team Pyro
32. Daniel Rowbottom (GBR), Kidderminster, Worcs, Team EcoMotive with DRM
44. David Dickenson (IRL), Wicklow, Co Wicklow, Team Pyro
45. Dan Zelos (GBR), Dereham, Norfolk, Ciceley Motorsport
46. Lee Pattison (GBR), Scholes, West Yorkshire, Team Cooksport
50. Graham Field (GBR), Southwell, Notts, JamSport Racing
55. Tom Butler (GBR), Derby, 20Ten Racing
63. Rory Green (GBR), Hildenborough, Kent, WDE Motorsport
66. Senna Proctor (GBR), Driffield, East Riding of Yorks, Team BMR with Pyro
71. Max Coates (GBR), Scorton, North Yorkshire, Ciceley Motorsport
99. Darren Johnson (GBR), Kidderminster, Worcs, Team Pyro
The Clio Cup continues to run as a support series to the BTCC in 2016, and the calendar reflects this, with the omission of Knockhill in Scotland.
- Sat 2/Sun 3 April: Rounds 1 & 2 – Brands Hatch (Indy Circuit), Kent
- Sat 16/Sun 17 April: Rounds 3 & 4 – Donington Park, Leicestershire
- Sat 7/Sun 8 May: Rounds 5 & 6 – Thruxton, Hampshire
- Sat 4/Sun 5 June: Rounds 7 & 8 – Oulton Park (Island Circuit), Cheshire
- Sat 18/Sun 19 June: Rounds 9 & 10 – Croft Circuit, North Yorkshire
- Sat 30/Sun 31 July: Rounds 11 & 12 – Snetterton Circuit, Norfolk
- Sat 27/Sun 28 August: Rounds 13 & 14 – Rockingham Motor Speedway, Northamptonshire
- Sat 17/Sun 18 September: Rounds 15 & 16 – Silverstone Circuit (National Circuit), Northamptonshire
- Sat 1/Sun 2 October: Rounds 17 & 18 – Brands Hatch (Grand Prix Circuit), Kent
The action will also be broadcast for each event on ITV4.
Take a look at the interview with Clio Cup spokesman, Carl McKellar, here.
by Tom McBeth