Top Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship squad Ciceley Motorsport have announced they will be joining the Renault UK Clio Cup grid for the first time in 2016.
Ciceley have become a front-running force in the BTCC over the past two seasons, with Adam Morgan taking their Wix Racing Mercedes Benz A-Class to two outright wins and six other podium finishes.
While Morgan himself didn’t compete in the Clios, instead coming through the Ginetta route to Touring Cars, his father and team principal Russell Morgan was a former Renault Spider competitor.
“I was on the same grid as Jason Plato who won the title that year, but I don’t remember racing him too much – he was normally well off into the distance! Certainly I’d expect the drivers we sign to our UK Clio Cup team to be somewhat more competitive…,” said Russell.
“We are very excited to be joining the UK Clio Cup grid for 2016. We’ve looked at branching out for a few years but we believe that now is absolutely the right time to do it and that we can bring on some really promising talent for the future.
“We’re here to win, of course, but there is no way we expect to simply walk in and do that – the standard of the teams is exceptionally high and it is going to be a very interesting technical, sporting and commercial challenge for us.”
The move further strengthens the link between the Clio Cup and the BTCC, which was increased last week when Clio team Maximum Motorsport announced their entry into the BTCC for 2016.
On top of that, twelve of this season’s BTCC field were Clio Cup graduates, whilst series front-runners Team BMR supported eventual Clio champion Ashley Sutton and BTCC driver Josh Cook was actively involved with his family Team Cooksport Clio team.
Morgan added: “Renaultsport have done a fantastic job with the championship these past 12 months and more and more the touring car teams are becoming involved whether on the technical, sponsorship or mentoring side.”
Ciceley aren’t the first BTCC to express ambitions to join the Clio grid, with both AMD Tuning and Team BMR having previously announced plans to run cars in the championship that didn’t come to fruition.
“To attract another of the BTCC’s very best teams to our grid with a multi-car effort is yet more terrific news for the Renault UK Clio Cup,” commented Renaultsport’s UK Motorsport Championship Manager Will Fewkes.
“Ciceley are proven race-winners in the BTCC and their presence is sure to raise the levels of professionalism and competition even higher for our 2016 season. We wait with intrigue to see which drivers will join them…”