AS 2015 MOMENTUM BUILDS
Growing entry-level saloon car championship the Michelin Clio Cup Road Series is expecting another strong mix of privateer competitors and professional teams on the grid this year, with multiple race winner and category mainstay Jake Honour (Devizes) leading the list of confirmed entries so far.
With two and a half months still remaining until the start of the 2015 season, the category’s second year as a fully-fledged championship, the Road Series is beginning to gather momentum with series returnee Honour aiming to mount a title bid with the Jade Developments squad.
Benefitting from key support through headline sponsor Milltek Sport and a portfolio of backers including Performance French Cars Magazine, APM Customs, Shakey’s Laboratory and Koden Helmets, Honour is determined to put together a consistently strong season – his third in the series.
Podium finisher Sarah Franklin (Kettering) will be flying the flag once again for the lady competitors as she returns in her privately run Clio, carrying key support from Aspire Financial Management, The Mobile Garage People and Flexpress.
Last year, the British Women Racing Drivers’ Club committee member secured three podiums on her way to third overall in the championship and will be bidding to go at least one better when the season gets underway in mid-April.
Paint Perfect Motorsport is also a welcome returnee with John Creasey (Lincoln) setting his sights on a sustained championship challenge. Making his Road Series debut in 2014 during round three at Oulton Park, Creasey made strong progress and especially during the second half of the campaign.
Achieving his maiden podium in round nine at Snetterton, he went on to enjoy his best weekend of the season during the Croft finale with a brace of second place results. This year, he will be backed by AlloyGator, Lechler Coatings, Lincs Radiators, Sherwood Signs and Living Woods Lincoln.
Double race winner Luke Pinder (Shipley) is on the verge of confirming his return at the wheel of his family-prepared Clio Renaultsport 197, the Yorkshireman having plenty of unfinished business after a maiden campaign dogged by mechanical woes and misfortune. Despite the difficulties, Pinder’s pace was undeniable with five podiums from six races and he is currently wrapping-up his plans.
In addition to the familiar faces from last season, several newcomers to the Michelin Clio Cup Road Series have already confirmed participation with leading team 20Ten Racing set to run racing rookie Tyler Lidsey (Dartford), younger brother of Race Series front-runner Brett Lidsey.
Privateer newcomer Dan Kirby (Chelmsford) is another fresh addition to the Road Series for 2015 with his own Trade Price Cars Essex supported entry. He will dovetail his first season at the wheel of a race-converted Clio Renaultsport 197 with existing commitments in the GAZ Shocks BMW Compact Cup, where he has raced for the last two years after making his full competition debut in 2013.
“It’s an important year for the Road Series, we’re working hard to build the grid from last year and so far so good – it’s great to have drivers like Jake, Sarah, John and Luke returning alongside some very exciting newcomers”, said championship promoter Simon North, “Tyler [Lidsey] and Dan [Kirby] are coming into the series from different backgrounds, and that’s what this series is all about.
“There is certainly a lot going on behind the scenes and there are a number of competitors, both experienced and rookie racers, looking to potentially join the Road Series. The championship offers incredible value and we’re fielding a lot of interest, we’re certain to have our best grid yet.”
Reigning Road Series champions Westbourne Motorsport are plotting a return to try and defend the title the team won so dominantly last year with Anton Spires and another likely returnee is privateer Nic Harrison (Burton-on-Trent), the 2014 Vice-Champion. The CGHimports.com backed racer took his maiden race win at Croft last season and also sealed six other podiums.
SWB Motorsport, an integral part of the Road Series since the category’s inauguration in 2013, has confirmed its desire to continue involvement in the championship and team principal Simon Baldry is keen to hear from prospective competitors.
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.