Leicestershire’s Team Pyro, reigning champions of the Renault UK Clio Cup and Eurocup Clio Series, will field at least three drivers in the Michelin Clio Cup Race Series in 2014 after today, Friday, 17th January, officially confirming an exciting mix of youth and experience.
Having made his car racing debut with Mark Hunt’s squad during the final weekend of the inaugural Michelin Clio Cup Race Series season last September, where he starred with a maiden podium finish and class win, 16-year-old Ollie Pidgley (Salisbury) remains with Pyro for his first full campaign.
Debuting in karts in 2007, the Wiltshire youngster won the Forest Edge Kart Club Junior Rotax title in 2010 before going on to compete at national championship level in Super 1 and Formula Kart Stars Junior Max Karting.
Irishman David Dickenson, who raced with Pyro in the Eurocup Clio series last year as team-mate to eventual champion Josh Files, returns to UK shores and a switch back to the third generation Clio in the Michelin Clio Cup Race Series.
The 27-year-old, from Wicklow on the east coast of Ireland, has six years’ experience in Renault Clio racing, having started out in the Renault UK Clio Cup in 2008. Following another full season in 2009, and part-campaigns over the next couple of years, in 2012 Dickenson combined selected outings in the UK series with races in Clio Cup Italia and Renault Clio Cup Bohemia.
Becoming a race winner in the Bohemian championship, and a pole position qualifier, Dickenson signed-up for the flagship Eurocup Clio series last year – driving one of the latest generation turbo Clio Cup cars with Pyro – and he also contested two races in the Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup.
Pyro’s third confirmed signing for the 2014 Michelin Clio Cup Race Series is relative racing newcomer Andy Wilkins (Harpenden). Although having gained experience in the Trackday Trophy over the last couple of years, at the wheel of a Renault Clio, the 43-year-old’s move into the Grovewood Sport led Clio Cup Series marks his first ever true championship campaign.
Having dabbled in karting as a youngster, and making his way through to the final stages of a scholarship contest in 1998 to try and win a season’s racing in the Vauxhall Vectra V6 Challenge, Wilkins didn’t make his true race debut until 2012 when he put 10 years of trackday experience to good use in the Trackday Trophy.
“Ollie is a good young driver”, said Pyro team principal Mark Hunt, “The third place he got at Brands last year was pretty exceptional, we just need to work on his starts a bit but we’ve got a really good testing plan in place and he should definitely move forward. If we do the work over the winter we need to, I think he can be top three in the Clio Series and then move on to the UK series in 2015.
“David has done Clios for a long time and he knows what he’s doing, he should have some good results. He’s decided to do the Clio Cup Series this year as there’s a little bit less pressure, it’s only six weekends of racing and that means he can concentrate on work more.”
Hunt added: “Andy bought his Clio for trackdays originally, then he progressed to the Trackday Trophy last year and now the move into the Clio Cup Series is a natural progression for him. He doesn’t have the budget to go testing all of the time, or to spend much time at the track as he has a full-time job, but hopefully we can get him into the top 10 regularly.”
Along with headline sponsors Michelin and Protyre, the Clio Cup Series is additionally supported by Ferodo and Safety Devices.