British driver Adam Gould has announced he will be switching from the forests and the MSA British Rally Championship to the circuits and the AirAsia Renault Clio Cup UK in 2012.
The 24 year old former MSA Team UK graduate has taken the decision to move into circuit racing to try and take benefit of the excellent commercial opportunities available with the Clio Cup, while also testing himself and building up his skill set as a competitive driver.
Bristol-based Gould said: “As a driver who relies entirely on sponsorship to fund his motorsport, I had little option but to consider other forms of competition for 2012. I love rallying and I'm certainly not calling time on my rally career, but at the moment there's a disparity between the cost of rallying and the value of exposure for sponsors. The Clio Cup, though, offers amazing value for money and with its live television coverage and running as part of the British Touring Car Championship package, it also has massive appeal for sponsors.
“Apart from the racing itself, the biggest challenge is the level of precision required to be quick. Every braking point, line, steering input and throttle application has to be perfect and the field is separated by tenths of a second, rather than full seconds. On first impressions, the Clio Cup is huge fun to drive and I can't wait for the first round of the championship.”
Gould will be running with Stancombe Vehcile Engineering, who won the title last season with three-time champion Paul Rivett. The reigning champion will be coaching Gould throughout the season and was on hand at Brands Hatch this week as Gould had his first drive in a Clio Cup car.
Despite never driving a racing car before, Gould performed impressively at the official series media day and test at the Kent circuit, his best time of 52.911s putting him within a second of the frontrunning pace, which was set by 2011 Clio Cup title contender James Dixon
Gould added: “My first day in a race car went really well. I was able to pick it up fairly quickly and after a couple of hours my pace was really encouraging. Paul was on hand throughout the day to give me one-to-one coaching. His feedback was so valuable, particularly because he works as a professional driver coach. Paul and the team have made me feel really welcome and are helping to ease the transition from rally to race.”