With less than a week to go before the opening round of the new Courier Connections Renault Clio Cup season, our friends over at The Checkered Flag have been looking at a preview of the seasons drivers and teams.
While there may be a new car this year, there’s a number of familiar faces coming back to drive them, including six race-winners from 2013 who will be aiming to make history as the first champion of the new generation.
Leading the entry with a formidable line up of series returnees is SV Racing, formerly Scuderia Vittoria, who house KX Akademy quartet Alex Morgan, Ash Hand, Josh Cook and Ant Whorton-Eales, the first two joining the team from Team Pyro, Cook from JHR Developments.
Hoping to capitalise on all their experience for a title push are two third-year Clio competitors, team newcomers Mike Bushell and Rob Smith. Bushell joins the team after a mixed 2013, in which he took three podium finishes whilst changing teams twice, while Smith is hoping for an upturn in fortunes after taking just a single top six finish last time out.
Experienced Clio campaigner James Colburn meanwhile is back for his sixth successive campaign in the series with Westbourne Motorsport. After winning on the first and last weekends of 2013, he’s aiming for more regular successes and a first title challenge since 2011 this time out.
The season commences at Brands Hatch this weekend, 29/30 March, with pre-event testing on Friday following by the first qualifying session of the season on Saturday at 11:20. Round One will follow later in the day at 16:25 with Round Two to be televised live on ITV4 on Sunday at 15:30.
The series will follow the British Touring Car Championship for all ten rounds this year, the first time since 2010 it will run over twenty rounds, returning to Brands Hatch for its final rounds in October.