Clarke to split Lotus and Clubmans plans
Teenager James Clarke will contest full campaigns in the BARC Clubmans and HSCC Historic Touring Car Championship this year.
Clarke competed in both championships in 2016, but only after he had turned 16 in April, meaning he missed the start of both campaigns.
A graduate of the Junior Saloon Car Championship, Clarke took five wins in the Sports 1600 ‘Cup’ class in Clubmans and two Class C wins in the HTCC.
He will continue in both categories, competing in new cars built by Dave Beecroft’s Orex outfit. Clarke will switch from the Catchpole Mallock Mk18 that he raced this season to a Mk27 machine in Clubmans.
Orex has also been tasked with building a second Cortina to FIA specifications by sponsor Cardowan Creameries, which would allow Clarke to compete in European Historic events.
“Orex are building two new cars, so they’re quite busy,” said Clarke. “The Mk27 is about two feet longer [than the Mk18] – it’s a long car. It means I’ll have to get used to a long wheelbase, and we’ll have to get it set up because one of the issues for me was that I tend to like the car to be quite front-endy and that’s hard to achieve with the engine in front of you – it tends to rotate around the front and it won’t dart into corners.
“John Kyle at Cardowan tasked Orex with building a new Cortina – or preparing it for racing – but it will be prepped to Fia-spec so we can potentially do some European racing, possibly in Historic Masters.” For a feature on James Clarke’s
season, see page 28
Teenager starred in classic Lotus Cortina last year, and will return