Clios not the end for Re­nault

Autosport (UK) - - CLUB AUTOSPORT - STEPHEN LICKORISH

Re­nault is al­ready as­sess­ing dif­fer­ent op­tions for fu­ture mo­tor­sport ac­tiv­ity in the UK after it de­cided to axe the

Clio Cup at the end of this sea­son.

It was con­firmed just be­fore Christ­mas that the pop­u­lar Clio Cup would not con­tinue be­yond 2019. The tim­ing of the series’ clo­sure co­in­cides with the planned in­tro­duc­tion of the fifth-gen­er­a­tion Clio else­where. Only the UK series is ceas­ing; other Clio Cup cham­pi­onships around the world will con­tinue and a new series is be­ing launched in the Mid­dle East.

Although the de­ci­sion may sug­gest a scal­ing-back of race op­er­a­tions, Re­nault Sport Rac­ing sport­ing man­ager Tarik Ait

Said has re­vealed that talks about fu­ture projects have al­ready be­gun.

“In the UK the de­ci­sion has been taken that it would be best not to con­tinue [the Clio Cup] for 2020,” he told Autosport. “It doesn’t mean there won’t be any mo­tor­sport ac­tiv­i­ties in the UK for­ever. But we had to con­sider how it would be in 2020.

“We’re al­ready work­ing with Re­nault UK about other things to do. Re­nault UK has a lot of ac­tiv­ity around For­mula 1 and there are other ac­tiv­i­ties that may come in 2020 or 2021. We’ve just started look­ing at dif­fer­ent op­tions.”

Ait Said would not be drawn on any of the ideas but recog­nises the man­u­fac­turer’s long his­tory in the UK. The Clio Cup series be­gan in 1991 but Re­nault’s one-make his­tory dates back to the ’70s with the Re­nault 5. It also sup­ported the For­mula Re­nault UK series be­tween 1989 and 2011.

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