James Colburn will not be competing in the Renault UK Clio Cup this season, the first time in six years he will not be on the championship’s grid.
Since making his Clio Cup debut in 2009 aged sixteen, Colburn has been a permanent fixture in the series with his family-run Westbourne Motorsport outfit, but now plans to step back from the driving to help with the running of the team.
Colburn’s best season to date came in 2011, when he was in title contention until the final rounds of the season, eventually finishing third in the points behind three-time champion Paul Rivett and current BTCC star Aron Smith.
Last season, the Clio Cup’s first with the fourth-generation Clio, proved to be a mixed year for Colburn. The Worthing-based racer took wins at Thruxton and Oulton Park in the first half of the year, but a tough end to the campaign left him fifth in the standings.
Colburn, who has seven Clio wins and four top five championship finishes to his name, confirmed the news on his Facebook page:
“I guess it is time to announce that I will sadly not be racing this year. Having had so many great seasons and met so many friends it’s a shame it has come to an end.
“Now I look forward to a new challenge with aiding running the team and also helping new young drivers prove their talent!
“I would like to thank all those who have helped me along the way it has been amazing and emotional, we have had highs and lows!”
Colburn’s departure could mean Westbourne Motorsport may take a break from the series this season. The team, who also competed in both classes of the Michelin Clio Cup Series and the Junior Saloon Car Championship in 2014, will only return if they find another driver to compete.