HAND MAKES SWITCH TO RE­NAULT SPORT TRO­PHY

Clio Cup star to race R.S.01

Motor Sport News - - Racing News - By Stephen Lick­o­r­ish

Re­nault UK Clio Cup run­nerup Ash Hand will con­test the Re­nault Sport Tro­phy af­ter agree­ing a late deal to drive for the cham­pi­onship­win­ning Ore­gon squad.

The 21-year-old tested the 550bhp R.S.01 car at Jerez last year but was only able to secure a drive af­ter a test with Ore­gon last week. He will race along­side David Fu­manelli in the en­durance events in the cat­e­gory, which forms part of the World Se­ries by Re­nault pack­age.

“It was get­ting so late in the day that I was be­gin­ning to worry I wouldn’t be rac­ing this year, so to have put a deal to­gether with Ore­gon now is amaz­ing,” said Hand.

“Af­ter es­tab­lish­ing such a strong re­la­tion­ship with Re­nault dur­ing my three years rac­ing in Clios, it was im­por­tant to me to re­main in the fam­ily and build a fu­ture with them. Look­ing long-term, this is the first step on the path to­wards a ca­reer as a fac­tory GT or sportscar driver, which is my ul­ti­mate ob­jec­tive.

“The Re­nault Sport Tro­phy had been my num­ber one choice for 2016 ever since I first tested the R.S.01, when it ab­so­lutely blew me away. It’s fast and fu­ri­ous and, although it takes a while to master with the sheer amount of power avail­able, once you do get the hang of that it’s tremen­dously re­ward­ing.”

Hand will drive for top Ore­gon team

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