TEAM PYRO ANNOUNCES SQUAD TO DEFEND DRIVERS' TITLE
Leicestershire-based ELF Renault Clio Cup entrant Team Pyro has announced four drivers for the forthcoming season, aiming to retain the drivers' title won by Ben Winrow in 2008. Jeff Smith (Wellingborough) will carry the number one plate earned by Winrow's victory and is joined by Clio Winter Cup champion Aron Smith (Rathfarnham), Daniel Lloyd (Huddersfield) and Alex Dew (Bampton).
After missing the opening two races of the 2008 season, Jeff Smith registered with Team Pyro for the remainder scoring a best result of 12th at Oulton Park. Entering his second season of car racing, the double former TKM Festival Cup winner will be looking to establish a place in the top 10 and challenge at the head of the field.
Aron Smith enters his third season in ELF Renault Clio Cup after two years with Mardi Gras Motorsport. After four top-10 finishes in 2007 the Irishman had nine top-10s last season on his way to ninth in the overall standings. The 19-year-old went on to claim the 2008 ELF Renault Clio Winter Cup with two wins at Croft and two second places at Rockingham.
Alex Dew is the third member of the team with previous Clio Cup experience after making his debut in 2008. Initially combining his Dewsport team with Solutions Racing, he joined Team Pyro for the final six rounds in which he finished in the points in every race. Overall he had two top-10 finishes last season.
The only Clio Cup debutant at Team Pyro is Daniel Lloyd, already a familiar name to British Touring Car Championship support race fans after finishing fourth in the 2008 Ginetta Junior Championship. Lloyd, who will be 17-years-old when the season gets underway, had three race wins, two other podiums and one pole position in his first season of car racing, having been karting since 2003.
MacDowall returns with Total Control Racing
Total Control Racing has confirmed the return of Alex MacDowall (Carlisle) to its team for a third season. The 18-year-old finished seventh overall in 2008 after a string of good performances, including a podium at Thruxton. He also had two fastest laps and finished just 13 points behind Mike Robinson (Effingham), with whom he will reignite an inter-team rivalry in 2009. Former karting champion Sam Tordoff (Leeds) is the third member of the team confirmed so far, with more additions expected.
Rounds one and two of the ELF Renault Clio Cup take place in support of the British Touring Car Championship on 4th/5th April at Brands Hatch Indy circuit. Official collective testing takes place at Silverstone National circuit on Tuesday, 24th March.