Mike Bushell is looking to make it two Renault UK Clio Cup titles in three seasons after making a shock return to the tin-top championship for 2016.
Bushell won the title at the third attempt in 2014, and will be back on the grid with the team that guided him to that success, Team Pyro.
The 26 year old picked up four wins on his way to beating Josh Cook to the crown, and has a total of thirteen podium finishes in his 49 Clio Cup starts so far.
The Kent-based racer stepped up the BTCC last season in an AMD Tuning Ford Focus, but saw his campaign blighted early on by a huge accident at Thruxton.
The fan favourite raised over £14,000 through crowd-funding following his accident to return to the grid, and went on to finish the year with eight points finishes to his name.
“We put a lot into our BTCC effort in 2015 but a bad crash really set us back and actually had a knock-on effect for this year,” said Bushell.
“Coming back to the UK Clio Cup gives me the ideal opportunity to regroup before looking again at touring cars. I’m sure some people will be a bit shocked but sometimes you have to take a step back to take two steps forward.
“The UK Clio Cup is I’ve decided the best place for me to keep my name on people’s radars. I also feel I have unfinished business in the series. Sure I won it in 2014 but my results in the first half of that season were inconsistent – I want to put that right.”
Bushell is Team Pyro’s first confirmed signing for the 2016 Clio Cup, and team principal Mark Hunt is looking forward to working with their champion again.
“Clearly we are delighted to have Mike back in one of our cars – he obviously knows how to wring the most from these cars!” he commented.
“The competition since then has intensified a lot though and he and our team know even being on the first three rows of the grid in qualifying this year is going to be an achievement.”