The 2009 Elf Renault Clio Cup Champion and Vice Champion have both agreed deals with leading Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship outfits to graduate into the BTCC for 2010.

Champion Phil Glew from Lincolnshire will race a Vauxhall Vectra for leading outfit Triple Eight Race Engineering while 18 year old Cumbrian Alex MacDowall will partner Jason Plato at the new Silverline Chevrolet works backed team.

Their graduation into the BTCC takes the number of former Clio drivers in the BTCC to an impressive eight:

  • Mat Jackson
  • Tom Onslow-Cole – 2006 Clio Cup Champion
  • Andrew Jordan
  • Martin Johnson
  • John George
  • Lea Wood
  • Phil Glew – 2009 Champion
  • Alex MacDowall – 2009 Vice Champion

The drivers who have all graduated into the BTCC from the Clio Cup just proves how good a proving ground the popular one make series is.

Glew said about his BTCC graduation and the chance to lock horns with MacDowall: “It's taken a lot of hard work to get here but I'm delighted to be making the step up into Touring Cars. I had a fantastic year in the Clio's in 2009 which without doubt has been a major factor in helping me to secure this drive together with my sponsors WD-40, 3-IN-ONE and Glasurit. Having only driven the BTCC car once though this year is going to be a steep learning curve but I'm looking forward to racing alongside Alex once more.”

For 18 year old MacDowall, he added to what Glew said: “My plan was always to go into Touring Cars and my three years in the Clio's has certainly put me in good stead for my debut season. Having someone as experienced as Jason Plato for a team-mate is also a bonus and I'm really looking forward to the start of the season, especially as the car has shown great pace in testing.”

Simon North, the Clio Cup Championship Promoter said about the graduation of two of the leading stars in Clio's to BTCC: “We're delighted for both Phil and Alex and to see so many former Clio Cup drivers in the BTCC field. The series is a proven feeder series to the Touring Cars and we hope this year's crop of drivers will also be able to make the step up to BTCC stardom.”

Glew and MacDowall will make their official BTCC debuts in one week's time at Thruxton, Hampshire, the host of the opening rounds of the 2010 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship.

Photo credit: Vince Pettit Photography