New Entry Level Racing for Renault Clio Cup Cars

Renault UK, the BARC and Michelin have announced the launch of a new entry-level race series for 2013, that enables circuit novices and track day drivers to enjoy some real competitive racing relatively cheaply.

The Michelin Clio Cup Series with Protyre is aimed at providing a professionally run, cost-effective first step into saloon car racing. It is expected to run across four events in 2013 with the potential to become a fully-fledged championship in 2014.Based around the third generation racing Clio, as currently run in the sister Renault UK Clio Cup, the new  series will become the home for existing 2.0-litre Clio Cups when they are replaced by the new 1.6 litre turbo cars in  the British Touring Car Championship-supporting category in 2014.“Michelin Clio Cup Series with Protyre perfectly fills the gap in the market for those who enjoy track days, such as our own very successful Renaultsport Trackdays, but who want to make the step into actual competition without moving straight into the Renault UK Clio Cup”, said Jeremy Townsend, Renault UK Communications Director.

Although the calendar of events is still to be ratified, provisionally the series is expected to begin over the weekend 11th/12th May at Snetterton in Norfolk – running with the Protyre Formula Renault Championship – with a second event at Croft in North Yorkshire in July.

Two more race meetings are also planned, the first at Rockingham in Northamptonshire over the weekend 10th/11th August, with the final event set to take place at Brands Hatch in September. There is also a desire to run further events during the winter of 2013.

£3k Conversion kit and Michelin road tyres make Clio Cup Series even more accessible

In a move to ease the transition into competitive racing for rookie drivers, the introduction of a conversion kit has been confirmed which will enable owners of road-going Clio Renaultsport 197 and Clio Renaultsport 200 cars to transform them to track specification for as little as £3,000. Included in the kit is a roll cage, seat belts, fire system with extinguisher and suspension from the Clio rally car.

Alongside the main headline class for thoroughbred racing Clios and a ‘Road’ class for the converted cars, there will also be two driver categories – ‘Expert’ for those with previous racing experience and ‘Sport’ for competition novices.

One of the key facets will be the use of Michelin Pilot Sport 3 road tyres as Michelin brings its flagship sports tyre into competitive UK motorsport for the first time.

“The road tyres are less aggressive than racing slicks, so this will only help the cost-effectiveness of the series. In the current climate, a series like this is the perfect place for racing newcomers to learn and develop their skills. Michelin is delighted to be the headline sponsor of, what we fully expect to be, a very popular new category in UK motorsport,” said Michelin UK head of marketing Jianni Geras

Something of great importance to the success of the Michelin Clio Cup Series with Protyre will be the support of existing Renault UK Clio Cup teams who have strongly welcomed the announcement and creation of the category.

Team Pyro’s Mark Hunt and Scuderia Vittoria’s Danny Buxton, two of the lead pioneers behind the idea to establish a club-level series for the incredibly successful third generation Clio Cup car, are both very confident there is already a strong market for the new category.

Precise technical details and sporting guidelines for the Michelin Clio Cup Series with Protyre will be issued in the New Year and the category will be launched to the motorsport community on the BARC stand at the Autosport International Show, on 10th/11th/12th/13th January, at Birmingham’s NEC.

Provisional 2013 Michelin Clio Cup Series with Protyre Calendar
Races 1&2 Snetterton, Norfolk – 11th/12th May
Races 3&4 Croft, North Yorkshire – 13th/14th July
Races 5&6 Rockingham, Northamptonshire – 10th/11th August
Races 7&8 Brands Hatch, Kent – 21st/22nd September