The 2018 Michelin Clio Cup Series launches this weekend with the opening two rounds at Silverstone, with a thirteen car entry led by reigning champions Ben Palmer and Nic Harrison.
Palmer heads a nine car line-up for the headline Race Series with his own BPR team, having taken eleven race wins on his way to the title in his second season in the championship last year.
With vice-champion Anton Spires not returning, the challenge to Palmer will be led by the remaining drivers from last year’s championship top five – Simon Freeman, Ben Colburn and Tyler Lidsey.
Freeman will be team-mates with Palmer at BPR after visiting the podium six times last year, while Colburn (Westbourne) and Lidsey (MRM) did so three and five times respectively.
Two young talents to watch at Westbourne will be Finlay Robinson, who graduates to the Race class as a Road class race-winner and Junior Saloon Car graduate Ronan Pearson.
The class entry is completed by Jade Developments’ John Hamilton, who made his series debut in last years Silverstone finale, and championship newcomers Steve Williams and Tony Verhulst.
Four drivers are entered for the Road Series, with Harrison the early favourite with Jade Developments after winning last years title, having been vice-champion three times before.
Sean Thomas will provide stiff competition though in his first full campaign, with the JSCC graduate having taken four wins during a nine race spell last season with Westbourne.
James Joannou returns for a second season after breaking onto the podium twice last season, while Darren Geeraerts is back after contesting the final two events of the 2017.
The 2018 Michelin Clio Cup Series will take place over seven meetings, with the season opener and finale once again taking place at the ‘home of British motor racing’ Silverstone.
Regular venues Anglesey, Brands Hatch will he visited once again, while Snetterton and Thruxton are back after four and five years off the calendar respectively.
Rounds one and two will take place around the Silverstone National Circuit this weekend (24/25 March).