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“The MSA can sanc­tion four ju­nior cham­pi­onships and at the moment there is only one man­u­fac­turer-backed class in ju­nior car rac­ing so they ob­vi­ously un­der­stand that there is a mar­ket. I think it adds fur­ther ku­dos to Bri­tish mo­tor­sport to have Re­nault in­volved.”

The same car that is used in the main UK Clio Cup will be raced on Miche­lin road tyres, with mod­i­fi­ca­tions to the ECU to re­strict it to 100mph and five gears. The car has been tested by for­mer cham­pion Phil Glew to find the right con­fig­u­ra­tion and the idea is that teams will be able to use the same car in both se­ries.

“In the cur­rent cli­mate it does make things more ap­peal­ing,” said Fewkes. “It’s a great car, it’s a very safe car and it’s proven on track in this cham­pi­onship.”

The new se­ries has had a mixed re­ac­tion from ex­ist­ing Clio Cup teams. WDE Mo­tor­sport, which runs Paul Rivett in the main se­ries, plans to en­ter driv­ers.

“I think it’s a re­ally good thing,” said team boss Wayne Ea­son. “I think there’s a mar­ket for it as it’s a cur­rent prod­uct that’s new and there’s longevity there. We are def­i­nitely look­ing to get in­volved. I think with Re­nault be­hind it, it will be good.”

But Ea­son added that the cost of the cars, par­tic­u­larly with the weak euro ex­change rate, could be a po­ten­tial prob­lem.

How­ever, Team Pyro boss Mark Hunt is un­sure where the cat­e­gory will sit in the con­gested ju­nior rac­ing scene that al­ready fea­tures Ginetta Ju­nior, Ju­nior Sa­loon Cars and Fi­esta Ju­niors. “I think the mar­ket is sat­u­rated,” he said.

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