Former Protyre Formula Renault Championship competitor Matt Tiffin made an impressive Renault UK Clio Cup test debut with front-running outfit Scuderia Vittoria last week.
Spotted by Scuderia during a recent Formula Renault test at Rockingham, Tiffin was invited by the team to test one of their third-generation Clio Cup racers at Brands Hatch.
Despite his lack of experience in tin-top machinery, the former Formula Vee racer made a strong impression on the SV team during his four 30-minute sessions behind the wheel, matching the team’s established Clio Cup runners for pace.
“Matt’s performance was unbelievable during his maiden test in a UK Clio Cup car at Brands Hatch,” said SV director Danny Buxton. “He demonstrated a supreme natural flair behind the wheel and was unfazed by the transition from a single-seater to a front-wheel-drive saloon car.
“To match the quickest of our current Clio drivers for pace straight out of the blocks is incredible; the times he did with us would have put him on the front two rows of the grid in qualifying without a shadow of a doubt.”
Tiffin is eyeing a switch from single-seaters into tin-tops for 2014, with the Renault UK Clio Cup his main target.
“It was an absolutely fantastic day!” added the 17 year old. “I arrived at the test with an open mind and I immediately loved driving the car. It was a strange transition and I had to adjust a few of my single-seater habits, but I was soon up to racing speed and it was incredibly satisfying to return to the truck and be told that I’d gone so quickly so soon.”