2017 Michelin Clio Cup Series Season Preview

by Simon Paice

A mix of experienced campaigners and championship newcomers are set to take to the track this weekend for the opening rounds of the 2017 Michelin Clio Cup Series.

The season opener takes place at Silverstone, the scene of the 2016 season finale five months ago when James Dorlin and Jack Fabby walked away with the titles.

As Dorlin and Fabby step up to the Renault UK Clio Cup and Creventic 24H Touring Car Series respectively, there will be new names on the Race Series and Road Series trophies this year.

One driver who could make championship history this year by becoming the first person to win both titles is 2014 Road Series champion Anton Spires.

Returning with the Westbourne Motorsport team that guided him to that success, Spires is the early favourite for Race Series success following a spell in the Renault UK Clio Cup last year.

Amongst those looking to stop him are three returning talents from 2016, with podium-finisher Ben Palmer, Westbourne’s Ben Colburn and MRM’s Tyler Lidsey all back on the grid.

Sarah Franklin will contest the Race Series for the first time after three years in the Road class, with fellow Road class graduate Nick White and Vanquish Motorsport’s Jon Billingsley completing the entry.

In the Road Series, class stalwart Nic Harrison will be aiming to finally get his hands on the championship trophy after narrowly missing out to Fabby last year.

Taking him on will be Junior Saloon Car graduate Shanel Drewe, car-racing debutant James Joannou, Westbourne team principal Richard Colburn and osteopath-turned-racer Chris Williams.

The short 1.64 mile National circuit at Silverstone hosts the opening two rounds, which is sure to produce plenty of wheel-to-wheel racing to launch the 2017 season.

This year, the field are battling for an £8,000 prize fund. The Race Series leader after the penultimate rounds will contest the Renault UK Clio Cup season finale at Brands Hatch with Westbourne, while the Road Series champion will get a full test in a third-generation Clio racer.

More information on all the 2017 entrants can be found on the Michelin Clio Cup Series website.

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