2014 title challenger Jordan Stilp (Potterspury, Northants) says he is confident he will win 2015's Renault UK Clio Cup crown after re-signing for Derby squad 20Ten Racing which has also confirmed it will run a second car for Mark Howard (Oakham, Leics).
Northamptonshire's Stilp won three times in 2014 – with a dominant double at Croft plus a win at Knockhill – and only narrowly missed out on the title in the season finale at Brands Hatch to eventual Champion Mike Bushell and Vice-Champion Josh Cook.
It will be back at Brands Hatch on the weekend of Sat 4th/Sun 5th April that the new Clio Cup season gets under way with the first two rounds of its 18-round calendar. All the races will take place during British Touring Car events meaning huge trackside crowds and live television coverage on ITV4.
Stilp, aged 20, commented: “I'm going out to win it and nothing else – no thirds or seconds, just wins. And I feel like I'm going to be the Champion.
“All we need to do as a team is make sure we get in plenty of pre-season testing to be as far ahead of the game as possible. When we roll up for the first two races at Brands Hatch I want to hit the ground running and thrash everyone.”
Meanwhile 50-year-old property developer Howard hopes to challenge for the 'Masters Cup' for drivers aged over 38. He said: “I was a champion in Renault 5 Turbos in 1993 in my early 20s but I have to say the professionalism of the young drivers now in Clios compared to how it was back then is much, much higher. They are so focused and in a different league.
“I'm not after anything too grand – at my age it's more about having a good fun, family weekend – but I would hope to be on the Masters podium and get regular outright top ten finishes.”
20Ten Team Principal Simon Hunt clearly believes he has a title challenger in Stilp, adding: “Firstly we have continuity in the team which is very important. Jordan wants to win and the way he won at Croft last year was extraordinary. That really was a turning point and he was so strong after that. It lifted everyone's confidence and determination. If his first half of the season had been like his second half he would have been champion and I believe this year will be his year.”
“With Mark I think he can move forward. He's certainly brave enough!”