British Touring Car Championship ace Josh Cook has re-signed Rory Collingbourne to race for his squad Team Cooksport in this year’s Renault UK Clio Cup.
Collingbourne finished a strong sixth in his debut UK Clio Cup season with Bristol-based Cooksport in 2015 with a best race result of fourth (at Rockingham). Now the 18-year-old wants to build on the progress made and become a major player in the outcome of this year’s title race.
All 18 races on the 2016 UK Clio Cup calendar will take place at the BTCC’s high-profile events – meaning huge trackside crowds and live television coverage on ITV4 for its drivers, teams and sponsors.
Collingbourne commented: “We’ve got through a lot of testing on track at Oulton Park in Cheshire and Thruxton in Hampshire and it’s gone like a dream. Going back to those circuits after last year when I was very new to it all gave us a chance to assess what steps forward we’ve made and it’s really noticeable already.
“It feels great to be back in the car and working with the Cooksport team again – and Josh’s input is invaluable as ever. I’m really happy about the deal we’ve been able to put together for 2016 and I’m confident we can come out fighting right at the sharp end at the opening rounds at Brands Hatch in early April.”
Cook, who hopes to announce more drivers to his Cooksport line-up in the coming week, said: “Rory showed some real flashes of speed in 2015 and his rate of progress was very impressive. It took me three years to finish runner-up in the UK Clio Cup (2014) so I can call on my experience to gauge what sort of level Rory is at going into his second season and I’m convinced he’s now ready to start pushing for podium results and even wins.
“Continuity in motor sport is rare these days so it’s important to keep him on board – he’s got a lot of talent and him re-signing says a lot about his faith in the Cooksport team’s abilities too.”
Renaultsport’s UK Motorsport Championship Manager Will Fewkes added: “Josh is absolutely right when he speaks of the UK Clio Cup being a two or three year campaign for a driver and so it will be very interesting to see how Rory, after some very impressive drives in 2015, develops further in 2016. He could become a real star turn. His return also adds to the fantastic line-up of young driving talent committing to the UK Clio Cup grid for 2016.”