2013 Michelin Clio Cup Series Season Preview

At least fourteen drivers are set to take to the grid for the opening two races of the new-for-2013 Michelin Clio Cup Series with Protyre next month.

The new entry-level championship will kick off at Snetterton 200 in 11th/12th May, with its two class system seeing thoroughbread racing Clios competing alongside converted Clio Renaultsport 197 and 200 roadcars. The series is catering for the third-generation Clio Cup race cars, which can be seen competing in the BTCC-supporting Renault UK Clio Cup.

Heading the list of entries for the ‘Racecar’ class is reigning Ma5da MX5 Cup champion Luke Herbert. The 23 year old was expected to joing the main Clio Cup at the start of the season after being selected to receive KX Akademy backing, but after being unable to raise the remaining budget required, Herbert has joined the cheaper Clio Cup Series and will be the early championship favourite.

Herbert will face stiff competition from a three-car entry from established Clio Cup outfit 20Ten Racing, with team principal Darren Wilson will be joined Peter Felix and Graham Mullholland. All three have Clio Cup experience, Wilson in particular having competed in it for the past four years, while Felix also brings with him experience competing in the Volkswagen Racing Cup.

Four drivers join the series with experience in Euro Saloons racing, David Pierce, Ian Jordan, Andy Jordan and Jason Tarling.

Pierce, who also competed in the Clio Cup in 2000, will compete in the car that current BTCC driver Sam Tordoff piloted in 2010, with his entry coming with assistance from Clio veteran Colin Stancombe.

Father and son Ian and Andy Jordan will run as privateers, with Andy having competed in the Clio Cup at the end of the 2010 season, while Tarling joins them in the privateer ranks.

Brett Lidsey will achieve a long held dream of piloting a racing Clio this season, running the car driven in the Clio Cup last season by Josh Files, while race-winning Clio Cup squad Scuderia Vittoria will run former trackday participant and motor racing debutant James Weston.

The ‘Roadcar’ class is headed up by respected single-seater team SWB Motorsport, the Formula Renault regulars set to field at least two converted Clio Renaultsport 197 cars as they make their tin-top bow. Norwegian single-seater convert Tommy Ostgaard and karting graduate Sam Randon will run with them. They will be joined in the class by motorsport novice Jake Honour in his own self-converted Clio Renaultsport 197, and ex Mazda MX5 Cup driver Nic Harrison.

With more entrants expected to be announced in both classes ahead of the season opener, the Clio Cup Series is set for a positive first year. The BARC-run championship will run over four weekends, visiting Croft, Rockingham and Brands Hatch following the Snetterton opener.