The Renault Clio Cup Junior Championship featured some of the UK’s rising talents in racing. Read our roundup of events now!
Clio Cup Junior Championship 2017
A first of its kind, the Renault Clio Cup Junior Championship primes the next generation of talent in the motorsport industry. Giving young drivers experience on the tarmac in a highly competitive environment, whilst the winner gets entry into the Clio Cup when they’re of age, this tournament displays some of the greatest young talents in the country.
This may only be the first season of the Renault UK Clio Cup Junior Championships, but it’s already shaped up to be an extremely exciting event. Using the running for 25 years, the Junior mainstream success of the Clio Cup, which has been Championship gives young drivers a chance to test their mettle on the track whilst fighting to be named the Junior Champion of 2017.
The top three competitors
The competitors who placed top three fought with skill and confidence. Broken down by round, see how Max Marzorati, Ethan Hammerton and Jack Young ended up on the podium.
Position 3 – Max Marzorati – Team Pyro – 153 points
Max Marzorati is no stranger to junior kart racing. He put his experience and skill to good use in the inaugural Junior Clio Cup and placed first at Snetterton. After landing a disappointing 7th place in the second race, Marzorati took yet another win in Round 3 during the second weekend.
Setting the quickest lap time of the first race in 2m20.027s, Max was happy with his performance: “I’m so happy – this is a brilliant feeling. I had a poor start and that left me thinking that a podium would be a good result. But there was a lot going on and I just remained consistent and pounced when the opportunity presented itself.”
Sponsored by Renault Retail Group, Max Marzorati is a name to watch. Placing third overall, he has shown that he can hold his own against some of the more experienced junior racers.
Marzorati claimed yet another first-place finish in the 6th round, placing him second underneath Jack Young. An unfortunate exchange during the start of the race damaged the Team Pyro driver’s car. Falling back to fourth in the final lap, he managed to bring it back and finished third.
Position 2 – Ethan Hammerton – JamSport Racing – 159 points
Ethan Hammerton didn’t have a great first race of the Junior Clio Cup. An incident damaged his car, and his teammate’s, Gus Burton, forcing him to retire from the race early. Dissatisfied with the outcome, Hammerton successfully pulled it back in the second round.
Achieving the fastest lap time of the day (2m20.675s), Hammerton placed first in Round 2, making up for the discouraging result from the earlier race. Ethan said: “after the disappointment of earlier I am really pleased to bounce back and take a win – the team worked really hard in between the two races to fix the damage.”
The JamSport Racing team worked efficiently and allowed Hammerton to get back on the track as quick as possible, giving him a fighting chance in the Championship.
Hammerton placed fifth and fourth in the 3rd and 4th rounds in Brands Hatch respectively. However, he brought it back in the next rounds and climbed up to third in both of the Pembrey races. Finishing in fourth in the 7th round, Ethan Hammerton was yet to give up. In the final round, he managed to secure himself 2nd place, winning him a silver medal for the Junior Championships.
Position 1 – Jack Young – MRM -165 points
Jack Young used his skill, expertise and confidence in driving to bag himself the title of <a href=”https://www.renaultretail.co.uk/about-us/renault-clio-cup-junior-2017/” target=”_blank”>Renault UK Clio Cup Junior Champion 2017</a>.
On his Junior Championship title win, Young, from Belfast, said: “The feeling is indescribable – I had a bit of a moment there with Max at the start of race two and then went off on some oil and thought it was all over. All I could do was charge as hard as possible and make clean moves on people as soon as I got up to them.”
Placing fifth at Snetterton, Young brought it back in style in round two. Fighting for first place with Hammerton, Young finished in a respectable 2nd place. The MRM driver said: “We were battling with some understeer and I think my experience in the wet weather showed a little. I’m still happy to come away with a podium though and I think we have shown we’ve got the pace to run at the front going forward.”
Jack Young fought valiantly to stay in the top five throughout the 3rd and 4th rounds. Placing, fourth and third respectively, Young started to climb back up the leaderboard whilst finishing above his rival, Ethan Hammerton, both times.
Young took his game up another level in the next round, finishing in first place whilst dropping down to second in the 6th. With a penalty picked up in Pembrey, Young started two places lower for the first race in the final rounds at Brands Hatch. Young said: “The two-place drop on race one’s grid isn’t ideal but I don’t think it’ll be the single deciding factor.”
Ignoring the two-place drop, Young used his skill and cunning to finish second place in Round 7. Rounding off a strong performance, he placed third in the 8th round, putting him at the top of the overall leaderboard.
Not only does Jack Young now carry the title of Clio Cup Junior Championship 2017 winner, he ‘s also awarded a place in the senior Clio Cup (the equivalent of £18,000.)
Highlights of the Championship
A total of eight races spanning four days, the Championship made for an exciting event. The talented competitors faced each other on three tracks, following suit of professional drivers like Andy Priaulx and Jason Plato. The race at Snetterton was the most thrilling – the first four drivers to finish did so within one second of another.
Various obstacles worked to make this race as challenging as possible for the drivers, testing both their skill and competence. A prime example being Young, who won the championship title regardless of grid penalties – giving an indication to the quality of the MRM team.
This Junior Championship proved to be a truly exhilarating experience. The first-ever Junior Clio Cup started with more than enough drama and intrigue, with Hammerton having to leave the first race, whilst Team Pyro’s driver, Hanafin was excluded. With a few near misses and some worrying oil slips, the young competitors showed off calm confidence in various sticky situations.