Rob Smith will embark on the first season for the new fourth generation Renault Clio Cup car with reigning champions Team Pyro after today, Friday, 24th January, officially confirming his 2014 Renault UK Clio Cup deal – where he will run with an Evergreen Tyres livery.
The 21-year-old from Telford, who away from the track is currently studying for a Masters degree in Automotive Systems Engineering at Loughborough University, enters his third year in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship feeder series aiming to become a regular podium challenger.
Racking up a number of encouraging results last year, including a best finish of sixth place at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit – the venue again for the opening two rounds of the 2014 season – Rob is excited by the prospect of competing with Team Pyro.
“I have had a great couple of learning years with TCR [Total Control Racing]”, he said, “With the new Clio arriving in the UK for 2014, and with Pyro winning last year’s Eurocup series with the new car, it’s sensible to move there for this season. Both Jack Goff [current BTCC racer] and Josh Files won Clio titles with Pyro in their third year in the series, and I will be hoping to do the same.”
Retaining the support of national tyre wholesaler Group Tyre UK Ltd for 2014, along with BMTR, Rob also welcomes a new headline backer to his sponsorship portfolio in the form of respected tyre manufacturer Evergreen Tyres.
“I am very fortunate to have the support of Evergreen and Group Tyre for 2014”, added Rob, “Their early agreement to support the Clio means we can start testing soon and I can get plenty of mileage in the new car before the first race in March – I can’t wait!”
Team Pyro, which is based in Barwell, Leicestershire, is the most successful Renault UK Clio Cup team in recent history having secured the outright drivers’ title five times in the last six seasons. Winning with Ben Winrow in 2008, Phillip Glew claimed the title in 2009, current BTCC racer Dave Newsham won for Pyro in 2010, Goff won the coveted title in 2012 and Files triumphed last year.
Speaking on Rob’s arrival at Pyro, team principal Mark Hunt said: “I watched Rob’s progress in 2013, he is a talented driver and I am sure we can develop him into a consistent front runner this season in the new fourth generation car.”
Evergreen Tyres and Group Tyre will be using the BTCC meetings this year to promote the Evergreen brand. Each member company of the Group Tyre network will have its own dedicated race meeting, at which they will be able to invite key Evergreen customers for trackside hospitality and an exciting day of motorsport action to remember.
Acknowledging Rob’s welcome return to the Clio Cup, Renault UK Communications Director Jeremy Townsend said: “It’s great to see another competitive driver like Rob committing for the new season. Evergreen joins KX and One Call Insurance as another major sponsor utilising the strong profile of the Renault UK Clio Cup, within the BTCC package, to promote their brand to a wider audience.”
The opening two rounds of the 18-race Renault UK Clio Cup campaign will get underway on 29th/30th March at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit in Kent.