A new team and driver combination will be taking to the Courier Connections Renault UK Clio Cup grid at Snetterton in three weeks time, with former rally driver Paul Knapp joining the series with JamSport.
Knapp joins the championship with just three circuit-racing meetings under his belt in club-level Ford Fiestas with Northampton-based JamSport, having previously competed for a couple of seasons in the BTRDA rally series.
The Kent-based racer has purchased a fourth-generation Clio from established championship outfit JHR Developments, and is preparing for a first test at Donington Park tomorrow (17th July).
“I only decided I really wanted to do it last Wednesday!” said Knapp. “I watched the Clios at Croft on ITV4 and I thought ‘that’s what I want to do’, so I made some enquiries, contacted John [Millett] at R Sport and he gave me some numbers to make a few calls. I got in touch with Steven Hunter, bought the car he had and now I’m getting ready for my first test on Thursday at Donington.
“Snetterton will only be my fourth race meeting, I come from a rallying background but the team I did a few races with in Fiestas, JamSport, will be running the car. What’s great about Clio Cup is it’s very well policed, you’re on a level playing field. At the end of the day, it’s about being on the BTCC package too – getting to race in front of tens of thousands of people and being on ITV4 as well.”
The 41 year old enters the series with backing from sponsor FanUnited.co.uk, and is eyeing a long-term switch into tin-top circuit racing, with the BTCC the ultimate goal.
“If I don’t embarrass myself, which I don’t think I will, I would love to go to touring cars in the future as a privateer,” he added. “For now, I’m working closely with JamSport to get as much data as we can this year and then try and take everything further next year.”