The small Finsport team from Lincoln has announced it will join the new Renault UK Clio Cup Junior championship in 2017.
Return to Renault
The squad has in recent years run cars in club-level Ford Fiestas and classic touring cars. Team Principal Jay Finlay also has held senior engineering roles in British Touring Cars. A move into the UK Clio Cup Junior for Finlay, however, will mark something of a return to the Renault Sport paddock.
Clio Cup Sphere
Finlay commented: “2017 will mark our tenth year as a small independent team, but I’ve wanted for a few years now to get back into the Clio Cup sphere – I worked on Matt Allison’s car in 2005 in the senior UK Clio Cup and I’ve always really liked how Renault Sport goes about its racing.”
Finlay added: “When news of the Clio Junior championship came out it was music to my ears – there’s huge interest and, when a small team like ours looks at what is being offered, it stands out as the pinnacle of junior car racing. It’s also a perfect opportunity for us to measure ourselves against teams who have more Clio experience, and grow for the future. We have already placed an order on one car and we will announce the driver soon. There’s also the possibility of a second car.”
Renault Sport UK Motorsport Championship Manager, Will Fewkes, said: “We’re delighted to see Finsport choosing to go the UK Clio Cup Junior route. This underlines the appeal that the UK Clio Cup Junior has for smaller teams from the club racing scene across many platforms – cost, technical expertise and the opportunity to both gauge themselves against more established names and to bring on new talent and build for the future.”
The new Renault UK Clio Cup Junior championship – aimed at drivers aged 14 to 17 – gets underway in 2017 with six race weekend (two races per event). The cars being used are identical to those in the senior UK Clio Cup which features at the British Touring Car Championship’s high-profile events, except for a simple modification to the ECU – limiting them to five gears and a top speed of 100mph – and a switch to high-performance road tyres, Michelin’s Pilot Sport 3. These are to ensure the car meets strict junior car racing regulations.
Other teams to have already announced they will be joining the grid include senior UK Clio Cup squads JamSport Racing, Team Pyro with 20 Ten Racing, WDE Motorsport, Ciceley Motorsport and Westbourne Motorsport.