Michelin Clio Cup Race Series title duel to be resolved in YorkshireFamous motor sport name likely to be crowned in Protyre Formula Renault Championship
Mini Miglias, Mini Se7ens, Kumho BMWs, Northern Sportscars & Saloons and Junior Saloons on enticing support package
Croft Circuit is set to stage a series of pulsating on-track battles this weekend (20/21 September), as the BARC-run Michelin Clio Cup Race Series and Protyre Formula Renault Championship title fights play out around the popular North Yorkshire venue.The eagerly-anticipated season finale to the 2014 Michelin Clio Cup Race Series will see the crowning of the inaugural champion. The smart money is on Total Control Racing’s Mike Robinson, who with seven victories to his credit this year – including the last four back-to-back – arrives in the north-east with a 52-point advantage over his closest rival David Dickenson.Robinson is bidding to give himself an early birthday present as he turns 32 the day after the race meeting, with the championship laurels being accompanied by a coveted prize test in a new fourth-generation Clio Renaultsport Cup car from the sister Courier Connections Renault UK Clio Cup.Team Pyro’s Dickenson came out-of-the-blocks flying at the beginning of the campaign, but his challenge hit a speed bump with a driveshaft failure in round four, meaning the Irishman faces an uphill struggle to deny Robinson the spoils this weekend.Others tipped to be in the mix for the top step of the podium – if not the top spot in the standings – are Westbourne Motorsport’s Luke Herbert and first-year privateer Paul Streather, whose impressive consistency has earned him points in every race so far. The same goes for recent series debutant Brett Smith (Pyro) – who has claimed five rostrum finishes from just six starts – and rookie car racing team-mate Ollie Pidgley.Croft could similarly be the setting for title success in the Protyre Formula Renault Championship, where with only four races remaining, MGR Motorsport’s Pietro Fittipaldi is poised to lift the laurels. The Brazilian – grandson of two-time Formula 1 World Champion and IndyCar legend Emerson Fittipaldi – arrives off the back of an eight-race winning streak and holding a commanding 70-point lead.The most likely protagonists to take the fight to the series pace-setter are his MGR team-mate Matteo Ferrer and Fortec Motorsport’s Alex Gill – the only two drivers to have defeated Fittipaldi this year – whilst Scorpio Motorsport’s Piers Hickin in fourth also remains in contention for overall glory, with eight podiums to his name thus far.Others to watch out for will be Scottish single-seater rookie Colin Noble Jnr (MGR), Cliff Dempsey Racing duo Patrick Dussault and TJ Fischer and consistent SWB Motorsport ace Jack Butel. The fact that there are some six different nationalities represented in the field only serves to underline the series’ international nature.“We are delighted that Croft will be the stage for pivotal title battles in two of the most fiercely-contested junior race series in the country,” remarked circuit manager Mike Cantelo. “The Clios never fail to entertain as the touring car stars of tomorrow learn their craft and race quite literally doorhandle-to-doorhandle, whilst Formula Renault has long been a tried-and-tested proving ground on the road to Formula 1.“So whether you’re a tin-top aficionado or a single-seater devotee, if you come along to Croft this weekend, you may just spot a future household name on the starting grid. One way or another, it promises to be a cracking event!”Qualifying for both championships will take place on Saturday, 20 September, with all races the following day. Mini Miglias, Mini Se7ens, Kumho BMWs, Northern Sportscars & Saloons and Junior Saloons will add to a packed schedule of high-octane action at the BARC club meeting. A provisional timetable can be found at http://www.barc.net/downloads/timetables/2014-sept-2021-croft.pdf, with tickets just £13 on the gate.