Former Michelin Clio Cup Road Series champion Anton Spires will step up to the BTCC-supporting Renault UK Clio Cup this season with PP Motorsport.
The ex-Formula Renault BARC racer will lead the team’s first entry into the Clio Cup, having linked up with them last season in a short Clio Series campaign.
The team will get engineering support in their debut season from series stalwarts Westbourne Motorsport, who ran Spires to the 2014 Clio Cup Series Road class title.
“Westbourne know how to wring the most from these cars and Anton is a natural link so it makes perfect sense,” commented PP Motorsport team principal Creasey.
“We’ve always prided ourselves on being professional in our presentation and how we engage with the public and being on the UK Clio Cup grid, we have a golden opportunity to take our business model to a whole new level. We very much view the UK Clio Cup as being an integral part of our journey towards the BTCC.”
The partnership will mark Westbourne’s return to the championship after a year away, with team boss Richard Colburn hoping it will lead to a “three or four car team” of their own in 2017.
“We get on very well with the people from PP so are looking forward to working with them in 2016,” he explained.
“Anton has good experience of front-wheel-drive and we want him to be near the sharp end. This also gives us a really good way back into the UK Clio Cup after a year away.”
For Spires, it marks his first full season competing on the BTCC package, having made three previous appearances on the support bill when Formula Renault BARC guested in 2011 and 2012.
The 23 year old has brief experience in the current fourth-generation Clio Cup car, having received a prize test at Brands Hatch GP in 2014 after winning the Clio Series title.
Spires got to grips with an older third-generation Clio racer last season though, picking up a top six finish at both Oulton Park and Silverstone during his four race spell.
“It’s great knowing I’ll be on the UK Clio Cup grid in 2015,” commented Spires. “I hope with Westbourne’s input we can work towards top ten results and maybe even the top six by season’s end.
“Seeing Paul Streather, who I raced against in the Clio Cup Series, do so well on his UK Clio Cup debut last year has certainly given us confidence.”
*You can read a full interview with Anton Spires ahead of his maiden Renault UK Clio Cup season on TheCheckeredFlag.co.uk in the coming weeks*