Organisers of the Michelin Clio Cup Race Series and Road Series are delighted to confirm the return of the Autumn Cup this year, with a 45-minute ‘enduro’ race planned for Saturday, 17th October, at Rockingham in Northamptonshire.
Scheduled four weeks after the conclusion of the main championship, the final two rounds of which will take place at Silverstone International Circuit on 19th/20th September, the Autumn Cup will see a welcome return of the enduro format for Renault Clios two years after initially trialled.
“The third generation racing Clio is a great drivers car so the chance to have a longer race than normal, and introduce some different strategies, is very appealing”, said championship promoter Simon North, “Rockingham is a proven venue for this as we ran a successful 45-minute Clio race there in late 2013, and it’s always a popular track for saloon car racing.
“We want the Michelin Clio Cup Race Series and Road Series to each offer as much as possible to the teams and drivers, so the return of an Autumn Cup enduro is perfect. Hopefully many of the drivers who will have contested the main season will consider racing in the Autumn Cup, alongside those who may not have had the budget for a full season and those looking to make the move into Clios.”
Original plans for the third year of Clio Cup Series action were to include a 45-minute encounter as part of the main calendar during the penultimate event at Oulton Park Island Circuit in mid-August, forming a 12 round season for both the Race Series and Road Series.
Now, coupled with the confirmation of the Autumn Cup enduro, the main championship schedule has been ratified as a 13 round season with two regular 25-minute contests timetabled for the Oulton event instead.
The championship will begin with its first ever triple-header at Rockingham International Super Sportscar Circuit over the weekend 11th/12th April, before reverting to a double-header format for each of the remaining five race meetings.
Teams and drivers have warmly welcomed the announcement of the Autumn Cup as well as the boosted 13 race main season, with Race Series regular Pete Bennett commenting: “The 45-minute enduro in October will be fantastic, as will the opening three round meeting at Rockingham – both will require the driver to manage tyres to make them last and get the best out of them.
“Moves like this with the calendar are the way forward for the Michelin Clio Cup Series and will bring new drivers to the grid with exciting racing over a longer period. With more time on track, I’m sure it will attract more competitors to the championship.”
SV Racing team principal Danny Buxton added: “It’s great to have the Autumn Cup date booked so early in the diary, it gives drivers and teams plenty of time to plan for it. Being a one day event really does help with costs and I’m sure it’s going to be popular with competitors – I already have a few in mind who could hopefully win it for SVR!”
Along with headline sponsors Michelin and Protyre, the Clio Cup Series is additionally supported by Ferodo and Safety Devices with further support for the Road Series from Monster Sport Europe.