Jamie-Lea Hawley (Widnes) will become the first female driver to compete in the Renault UK Clio Cup Junior championship when she lines up on the grid for the Finsport Racing team in 2018.
Jamie-Lea, aged 15, has previously raced in karting’s Junior X30 category and also Fiesta Junior cars in which she had become a front-running name by the end of 2017.
Significantly her debut in Clio Cup Junior – sponsored by ADS Car Care Products – coincides with Lincoln based Finsport’s first attempt at the category.
Jamie-Lea commented: “Just one test with Finsport in the Clio Cup Junior car is all it took – I absolutely love it! The power and the grip are on another level.
“I couldn’t be in a better championship. The cars are technically superior to anything else at junior saloon car level and bring you on so much more as a driver.”
She added: “I know I’m new at this level and so are Finsport but in Fiesta Juniors, even though I didn’t learn how to drive a car until February 2017, I set myself targets in terms of results and hit every one of them. At the final round I was just off the podium in fourth.
“I’m going to treat Clio Cup Junior the same but would like to be consistently in the top three. I see this as a great way to prepare for the senior UK Clio Cup and hopefully, later, a move into the British Touring Car Championship.”
Finsport Team Principal Jay Finlay said: “Entering an officially sanctioned Renault Sport championship marks a very exciting chapter in our history and we’re delighted to be doing this with Jamie-Lea. She’s gelled immediately with us and it’s clear she has a real gift behind the wheel. We’re all excited about working with her in 2018.”
UK Clio Cup Junior is for drivers aged 14 to 17 competing in identical racing versions of the cars used in the senior Renault UK Clio Cup which features alongside the high profile British Touring Car Championship. The only differences – to meet junior racing regulations – are they are limited to five gears and 100mph and are fitted with high performance Michelin road tyres instead of racing ‘slicks’.