Rutland's Mark Howard to defend Renault UK Clio Cup 'Masters' crown with Team Pyro

Rutland's Mark Howard to defend Renault UK Clio Cup 'Masters' crown with Team Pyro

Mark Howard (Oakham, Rutland) has announced he is to defend his Renault UK Clio Cup 'Masters' class title for the championship’s older drivers in 2016 with the same team, Team Pyro, with which he won last year’s crown.

Howard, aged 51, was the first of the ‘over-38s’ across the line in five out of 18 UK Clio Cup races in 2015 as a team-mate to the top two drivers in the outright championship, youngsters Ashley Sutton and Ash Hand.

And he will be in a similar position in 2016 after Pyro recently announced it had signed returning 2014 Champion Mike Bushell, promising 2015 newcomer Josh Price and rising star Senna Proctor to its line-up.

Howard, who also won a Renault 5 Turbo title in the early Nineties, commented: “My driving came on in leaps and bounds in 2015 and I’d be nuts not to see how far I can keep going. I was in the outright top ten four times and really want to see if I can beat my best result which was a ninth – Bushell, Price and Proctor are certainly going to be benchmarks.

“Plus the Masters class is a great way for us older racers to stay young at heart and perform as part of the big show at the British Touring Car Championship’s events. Experience teaches you to appreciate value for money and, in motor sport, there’s very little out there to match the UK Clio Cup.”

Pyro Team Principal Mark Hunt said: “We’re very happy to keep Mark on board for a second season. Last year he definitely showed he was top-ten material which is no mean feat given many drivers on the grid are less than half his age! If we can increase his consistency then he could be up there even more in 2016.”

Renaultsport’s UK Motorsport Championship Manager Will Fewkes added: “It’s great to see that Mark is back and it’s always very interesting to see how he and the other Masters Cup drivers compare with the younger career-minded drivers. There’s always a chance they will remind everyone that age can outsmart youth on the track – something that adds to the unpredictability and enjoyment for our crowds and ITV audiences.”

All 18 races on the 2016 UK Clio Cup calendar will take place at the BTCC’s high-profile events – meaning huge trackside crowds and live television coverage on ITV4 for its drivers, teams and sponsors.

Ends

MEDIA INVITATION: 2016’s Renault UK Clio Cup pre-season launch will be held at the Rockingham circuit in Northamptonshire on Weds 23 March. Media are openly invited and should email championship Media Officer Carl McKellar cmckellar@barc.net

RACE DATES: 2016 RENAULT UK CLIO CUP

 

Sat 2/Sun 3 April

Rounds 1 & 2

Brands Hatch Indy, Kent

Sat 16/Sun 17 April

Rounds 3 & 4

Donington Park, Leics

Sat 7/Sun 8 May

Rounds 5 & 6

Thruxton, Hants

Sat 4/Sun 5 June

Rounds 7 & 8

Oulton Park Island, Cheshire

Sat 18/Sun 19 June

Rounds 9 & 10

Croft, North Yorkshire

Sat 30/Sun 31 July

Rounds 11 & 12

Snetterton, Norfolk

Sat 27/Sun 28 August

Rounds 13 & 14

Rockingham, Northants

Sat 17/Sun 18 September

Rounds 15 & 16

Silverstone National, Northants

Sat 1/Sun 2 October

Rounds 17 & 18

Brands Hatch Grand Prix, Kent

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