Renault UK are launching a new Junior Clio Cup for 2017, which will see drivers aged 14 to 17 competing in restricted versions of the current fourth-generation Clio racer.
Plans for the new championship, which has gained outline approval from the MSA and will be run by the BARC, includes six race weekends, each incorporating a warm up session, qualifying and two races.
The cars used will be identical to those run in the BTCC-supporting Clio Cup, but limited to a maximum speed of 100mph, while an ECU modification will restrict the cars to a five speed gearbox. They will also run on Michelin road tyres.
With easy modifications allowing the cars to be changed to and from Junior specification, teams and drivers can use the cars across both championships – opening the door for established Clio Cup squads to join the Junior series.
The Junior Clio Cup will enter a competitive market for teenage racers, with the Ginetta Junior Championship, BRSCC Fiesta Juniors, Junior Saloon Car Championship and British Formula 4, plus the Michelin Clio Cup Series for the older third-generation models.
Renaultsport UK’s Motorsport Championship Manager Will Fewkes said: “It is important to stress that UK Clio Cup Junior is very much being positioned at club level and we envisage a season’s running costs to come in as low as £30,000.
“Tight technical regulations and strict enforcement will certainly mean that each entrant will be competing in the same machinery, making it the perfect arena in which to showcase driver ability.
“The fact that teams will be able to use cars in both the Junior and senior UK Clio Cups is attractive when weighing up an investment. We have already received high numbers of enquiries since the recent Snetterton BTCC event and hope to announce the inaugural 2017 calendar shortly.”