Drivers from a cross section of junior motor sport categories have again raved about the car to be used in this year’s inaugural Renault UK Clio Cup Junior championship after getting their first experience of it at a special taster day event.
A dozen drivers aged between 14 and 17 sampled the car which is near identical to that used in the high-profile senior Renault UK Clio Cup which races alongside the British Touring Car Championship.
Three cars – provided by Renault Sport UK and the Finsport with WDE Motorsport and JamSport Racing teams – were at their disposal around the Blyton Race Centre circuit in Lincolnshire.
Among those on track was Jordan Collard, 17-year-old son of BTCC star Rob Collard who currently races in the Ginetta Junior category. He commented: “It’s a seriously good car – dynamic and a lot more modern than anything else out there at junior level.
“It’s quite a bit quicker too – I was two seconds up on anything I’d done around Blyton before. It’s planted around the corners and got some serious grunt out of the corners. This would be a very good step, I feel…”
Abbi Pulling, aged 14 and current leader of karting’s British Super 1 Junior KTM category, enthused: “It is just mint to drive and it’s something I’d seriously consider when looking to make the move to cars – it looks like being a really competitive category and also the cars are even.
“It’s very different to what I’m used to in a kart but I found it easy to pick up and was able to learn with every lap – the speed you take through the corners is really impressive. It’s a very good formula for the future. The cars are more technical but that helps to improve the driver. An amazing car, I’d say, and I wouldn’t change a thing.”
Ethan Hammerton, aged 16 and who currently leads the Junior Saloon Car Championship, said: “The car gives you a lot of confidence – it’s really grippy and the brakes are very good. The lighting on the dashboard, the paddle shift gear changes – it’s a proper, well-built racing car and a really good step up. Getting involved can lead to the senior UK Clio Cup and whoever wins it will be looking good.”
Fellow 15-year-old JSCC racer Ronan Pearson added: “Suddenly I feel like I’ve driven a real, purpose built race car. The speed of the gear changes, the power of the brakes, the sensitivity of the steering – it’s got the lot.
“The paddle shift gear change also means you don’t need a clutch – a lot of young drivers have some sort of driving simulator at home and this is similar – you only need the brake and the accelerator so are able to settle in quickly. It is something I am looking at and to be on the Clio ladder would be a great step for your career.”