Renault UK Clio Cup stalwart Paul Rivett will once again compete in the one-make championship this season, launching a title bid as both a driver and team manager with category newcomers WDE Motorsport.
35 year old Rivett will realise a long-held ambition by becoming a team manager, heading up WDE’s debut run in the category as they make the step up from club-level Ford Fiesta racing.
Rivett will mount a challenge for an unprecedented fourth Clio Cup title after a heart-breaking end to 2013, when an unfortunate injury on the eve of the final meeting robbed him of the chance to fight for the title, instead being left to watch from home as he slipped to third in the final standings.
Clio champion in 2002, 2004 and 2011, and vice-champion in 2006, 2008 and 2012, Rivett is looking forward to attempting to challenge for the title again in the new fourth-generation Clio racers, which are being introduced to the UK series for the first time this year.
“This is a very last minute deal but I’m absolutely delighted – it’s fantastic to confirm we’re going racing!” said Rivett. “It’s a dream come true really, I’ve always wanted to be part of running a team and this is the best of both worlds for me.
“The guys at WDE are obviously coming into Clios for the first time so the plan is to get established, then expand to four cars for the UK championship next year and to also run in the Clio Cup Race Series. It’s all very exciting because as well as returning as a driver, I’m committing myself to Clios for the long term in a team manager capacity as well.”
Rivett is renowned for eleventh hour entries into the Clio Cup, with all his last few campaigns being announced close to the opening meeting. He’s set to pick up his new car tomorrow (18th March), before testing it for the first time during the annual Renaultsport Media Day at Rockingham a day later.
“It’s all looking really good, I honestly thought I wouldn’t get to test the car until the two 40 minute sessions at Brands,” he added. “It’s fantastic to have the opportunity to understand the car at Rockingham, get a set-up on it and start building from there. There’s a lot of hard work to be done but being involved in the official test is very important.”