There’s plenty of ta­lent in the sup­port cat­e­gories. Stephen Lick­o­r­ish is your guide RE­NAULT UK CLIO CUP

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This sea­son marks 15 years since Paul Rivett made his Clio Cup de­but. Since then he has taken three ti­tles and racked up an un­prece­dented 44 wins. There’s no-one bet­ter qual­i­fied to as­sess who could chal­lenge for the ti­tle this year.

Rivett is quick to pick out two key driv­ers he needs to beat if he wants to se­cure a fourth crown.

“Mike Bushell has had some tour­ing car ex­pe­ri­ence and with Pyro it’s a very good team-driver com­bi­na­tion,” Rivett says. “Ant Whor­ton-eales will be back and he’s def­i­nitely a con­tender. I see them as my main ri­vals.”

Bushell had a dif­fi­cult rookie sea­son in the Bri­tish Tour­ing Car Cham­pi­onship last year and the 2014 Clio cham­pion has taken the bold de­ci­sion to step back, re­turn­ing to Team Pyro. Mean­while, Whor­tonEales led the points for the first half of last sea­son but ended up fin­ish­ing third and will now race for Jam Sport.

Rivett re­fuses to rule out any of the other 22 driv­ers tak­ing part this year.

“There is al­ways some­body who pops out of the wood­work and no­body was ex­pect­ing, which is why I wouldn’t count any­one out of it,” he says. “We see the same each year – there’s al­ways a driver who sur­prises.

“Senna Proctor has the ca­pa­bil­ity of be­ing that per­son. He’s re­ally quick and has im­pressed in test­ing.”

Proctor is sure to be one to watch, hav­ing nar­rowly missed out on the Ginetta Ju­nior ti­tle last year. He has now switched to Clios and will ben­e­fit from the same Pyro/team BMR al­liance that guided Ash­ley Sut­ton to last year’s cham­pi­onship crown.

Rivett adds that his WDE Mo­tor­sport team-mates will also be worth keep­ing an eye on. “Char­lie Ladell has re­ally upped his game and fit­ness and will be one to watch,” he says. “Also Paul Plant has re­ally im­pressed from the start.”

Other con­tenders are likely to be 2010 run­ner-up Lee Pat­ti­son (Cook­sport) and for­mer MG racer Paul Streather (Fi­nesse) – who starred on his de­but in the fi­nal round last year.

As for Rivett, there are a few mile­stones he’s look­ing to achieve in 2016, such as 50 wins and 100 podi­ums – he’s on 96 cur­rently – but a fourth ti­tle is his main tar­get.

His WDE boss Wayne Ea­son reck­ons Rivett will star this sea­son.

“I think Paul’s go­ing to be the one to beat,” he says. “Last year when we looked at who would be rac­ing I said to him: ‘Ash Sut­ton is go­ing to take some beat­ing’. But this year if I were to have the same feel­ing about any­one it would be Paul. He’s go­ing to be one of the favourites. He’s got a nearly new car and it’s down to him now.”

Rivett is aim­ing for fourth ti­tle At least 23 driv­ers are set to race in Clios this year

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