After a lengthy eight week summer break, the Renault UK Clio Cup’s long awaited return to action comes this weekend (22/23 August) with a rare visit for the championship to Knockhill in Scotland.
It has certainly been anything but a quiet break for the Clio paddock, with plenty of driver and team changes giving the grid a fresh look heading into only the third trip north of the border in nine years for the series.
What hasn’t changed though is the four-way title battle shaping up at the head of the grid, and while championship leader Ant Whorton-Eales has a new home, joining new outfit Maximum Motorsport, he’s firmly focused on increasing his advantage at a circuit he finished on the podium at last season.
Ash Hand, the in-form driver heading into the break with five wins in eight races, is in hot pursuit though, as is his Team Pyro team-mate Ashley Sutton who has starred in his maiden Clio Cup campaign, and their inter-team battle is something to watch as the season progresses.
The experienced Paul Rivett is firmly taking the fight to the young guns however, and the three-time champion will be aiming to return to the top step of the podium at Knockhill, having won there in the Clios back in 2004 and 2006.
One driver who won’t be repeating his race-winning Knockhill heroics from twelve months ago after leaving the series is Jordan Stilp, but his replacement at 20Ten Racing, series podium finisher Jack Mitchell, will be aiming to start his relationship with his new team in positive fashion.
Likewise, Charlie Ladell is looking to make an impression on his first outing since returning to WDE Motorsport, with his former Team Cooksport stablemates Rory Collingbourne and George Jackson also firm top six contenders.
They’ll be joined for the weekend by former Clio Cup race-winner Lee Pattison, who is one to watch on his one-off return to the series, while JamSport Racing duo Dan Holland and Tom Grundy will be looking to build on some early season promise.
After getting their eye back in Friday practice, the grid will be kicking off the competitive action with qualifying at 11.00 on Saturday (22nd August), with Round Eleven following later in the day at 17.00. Round Twelve will be televised live on ITV4 at 12.30 on Sunday (23rd August).
2015 Renault UK Clio Cup Standings (After Rd.10 of 18):
- Ant Whorton-Eales – 270 points
- Ash Hand – 265
- Ashley Sutton – 244
- Paul Rivett – 220
- Jack Mitchell – 174
- Jordan Stilp – 172
- Charlie Ladell – 170
- Rory Collingbourne – 115
- Brett Smith – 108
- George Jackson – 105
Full championship standings ahead of the weekend can be found here.