Renault UK has announced it is to launch a new ‘Junior’ racing championship in Great Britain for drivers aged 14 to 17 using its current UK Clio Cup race car. The new championship will commence in 2017 having obtained outline approval from the MSA’s Championship Control Panel.
It will run to 12 rounds at six two-day events, which will each include a ‘warm-up’ session, timed qualifying and two races. Teams and drivers will each use identical racing versions of the Clio Renault Sport 220 Trophy – as used in the high-profile Renault UK Clio Cup that races alongside the Dunlop British Touring Car Championship.
However to comply with Junior racing regulations the cars will be limited to a maximum speed of 100mph. Cars will also use the same steering-wheel mounted gearshift ‘paddle’ as in the UK Clio Cup but a simple modification to the ECU will block sixth gear, reducing them to a five-speed unit.
In addition the Juniors will run on high-performance road tyres – Michelin’s Pilot Sport 3 – which will be limited in number to four per car per event. A special ‘finance’ option to help participants spread the cost of purchasing cars is also available via the Moorgate Motorsport Finance group.
Significantly, those investing in cars will be able to use them in both the senior and junior UK Clio Cups thanks to the simple modifications required to adapt them for each category.
“It is important to stress that UK Clio Cup Junior is very much being positioned at club level and we envisage a season’s running costs to come in as low as £30,000,” commented Will Fewkes, Renault Sport UK’s motorsport championship manager. “We also hope that a Junior entry-level championship, with backing from Renault UK and, centrally, Renault Sport Racing and all the associated expertise and professionalism, will appeal to smaller racing outfits and also to more female drivers. Tight technical regulations and strict enforcement will certainly mean that each entrant will be competing in the same machinery, making it the perfect arena in which to showcase driver ability.
“We feel this marks a real shift in junior racing marketplace all round and we’ve also worked hard to ensure that the racing calendar we have in mind will work around school term time for youngsters,” he added.