Jordan Stilp has announced that he will not be competing in the remainder of the 2015 Renault UK Clio Cup season, exiting the series with immediate effect.
Stilp has competed in the championship since the start of the 2013 season, and is currently sixth in this year’s standings with two podium finishes for 20Ten Racing.
Some bad luck over the first five meetings of the season though, coupled with some funding issues behind the scenes, has led the 20 year old to make the decision to leave the series.
“As much as I want to still be out there racing and to have finished the season, to be honest we just couldn’t afford it,” Stilp explained to The Checkered Flag.
“This year we fell behind by not having the budget at the start of the year to go testing and develop our set-ups for the year, so it’s been really hard. Luck has been against us, we’ve had more damage this season than ever before and it’s just not felt like it’s been our year.
“We didn’t get as much money from sponsors as we’d hoped at the start of the season and with our troubles so far this year, it just wasn’t viable at all to do the rest of the season unfortunately. It’s not how we wanted it to end and I’m going to miss it – I don’t even want to watch it on the TV!”
The former Mazda racer joined the Clio grid back in 2013, competing with Westbourne Motorsport for a season and then with 20Ten Racing since, entering 44 races in total.
Stilp’s crowning moment in the championship came at Croft in 2014, when a stunning performance saw him take a clean sweep of the pole positions, race wins and fastest laps in Yorkshire.
That set Stilp up for a late bid for the title, with another win and three other podiums pushing him to third overall in the final standings and with it the Graduate Cup honours.
Stilp therefore headed into 2015 as the highest placed returning driver, but a tough start to the year saw him restricted to just two podium finishes in the first ten races.
“It’s been absolutely great, I’ve really enjoyed my time in the series,” Stilp reflected. “Last season in particular was fantastic with 20Ten, we challenged for the championship against the top teams and drivers which was amazing considering our lack of budget and testing compared to the others.
“Thank you to everyone at Renault for putting together a fantastic championship. It’s bloody hard and we just wanted to be competitive and race against the best drivers in the UK, and we’ve done that and hopefully proved ourselves. My time in the series has certainly made me a better driver and it’s just a shame I didn’t win the title!”
Stilp says his focus is now turning to 2016 and getting the budget together to return to racing – but he has ruled out a return to the Clio Cup paddock for a fourth campaign.
“I think that the Clios and that part of my career is over now. I can’t do a championship four years in a row, for my career I need to move forwards next season,” he concluded.
“No-one can take away our wins in the championship though, and I’m really glad that I’ve won in the series and I’ve got that on my racing CV. We’re saving our money now for the rest of the season and looking ahead to what we want to do next year. I’m sure we might end up back on the TOCA package in the future.”