The Michelin Clio Cup Series returns for its second full season this year with a sixteen car grid set to tackle the opening rounds at Rockingham this weekend (April 11/12) across the championship’s two classes.
Once again the headline Race class will feature third-generation Clio racecars as used in the Renault UK Clio Cup between 2007 and 2013, while the Road category will utilise converted Renaultsport Clio 197 roadcars.
Last season, the Race class was won by Mike Robinson, who has since moved up to British GT and took a GT4 class win at the season opener last weekend, while the Road category title went to Anton Spires, who is targeting an entry in the Race class later in the season.
The entry this season is headlined by a host of returning front-runners from last season, with series stalwarts Westbourne Motorsport running Luke Herbert, a multiple race-winner during the Clio Series’ trial run in 2013, and podium finisher from last season Sam Randon.
Challenging them will be Finesse Motorsport, who house a competitive four-car line-up including Andy Jordan, who switches from Total Control Racing having taken podium finishes last year, and regular six finisher Pete Bennett.
20Ten Racing, who like Westbourne also compete in the BTCC-supporting Clio Cup, will be the home for podium finisher Brett Lidsey, while taking them on as a privateer will be Paul Streather, who finished fourth in the standings last year.
One to watch will be former British GT champion and BTCC racer Matt Allison, who joins as a privateer under the InterCity Racing banner. The 31 year old bring plenty of Clio racing experience to the grid, having been a Clio Cup race-winner in both 2005 and 2011.
Taking him on will be a number of talented young chargers taking on a full Clio Series campaign for the first time, 20Ten Racing pairing Tom Barley and Adam Hatfield, Finesse’s Ben Davis who runs with backing from #RacingforHeroes, and the reigning JSCC champion James Dorlin, who will join the grid from the second weekend at Thruxton onwards with Westbourne.
The Road class is headlined by a pair of race-winners from 2014, Jake Honour, who won both races at the Rockingham opener twelve months ago, and Luke Pinder, the former rally driver having notched two wins in his last three races.
Taking them on will be two of the top four championship finishers from last season. John Creasey returns with support from reigning champion Spires at Paint Perfect Motorsport, while Sarah Franklin is back having made three trips to the podium last year.
Completing the entry is Tyler Lidsey, who joins his brother Brett at 20Ten, and former 750MC Clio 182 Series champion Matt Fincham with his own outfit Go Racing Motorsport, while there is the possibility of some more additions across both classes for the opening rounds and as the season develops.