Reigning Renault UK Clio Cup ‘Masters’ Champion Simon Belcher will make a welcome return to the ultra-competitive Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship feeder series this year after today, Thursday, 3rd January, confirming a 2013 race deal with Handy Motorsport.
Swindon-based Belcher, who achieved an outstanding 11 Masters Cup victories from the 16 rounds contested during his maiden season of Renault Clio action, will once again be partnered by headline sponsor KÄRCHER with continued support from Abacus Insurance Services and I4 Retail Design.
As during his debut campaign, the 39-year-old and his Handy Motorsport mechanics will receive technical assistance from 2012 Renault UK Clio Cup Drivers’ and Entrants’ championship-winning squad Team Pyro.
“I am really looking forward to the new season and going into 2013 with so much more confidence in the car, we can only go from strength to strength”, said Belcher, “I’m very lucky to be working with some great people at Handy Motorsport and to have the support of the guys at Team Pyro as well is a huge boost.”
“We had a fantastic first season in Clios, winning 11 races in the Masters and going on to take the title was exactly what we hoped to achieve. This year the aim is to keep improving and defend the Masters title successfully. With the help and guidance of my driver coaches Phil Glew [2009 Clio Cup Champion] and Dave Newsham [2010 Clio Cup Champion], I’m confident we can do that.”
Prior to making the move onto the BTCC support package in the Renault UK Clio Cup at the start of 2012, the Wiltshire sportsman was a consistent front-runner in the Legends Cars Championship, winning numerous races. His sporting career, however, began on water rather than dry land in the realms of Jet-Ski racing where he won four British titles and one European Championship.
Belcher’s links to Legends Cars remain as strong as ever and, as part of this, his striking KÄRCHER liveried Clio will be on display on the Legends championship stand at the upcoming Autosport International Show at Birmingham’s NEC which opens to media and trade visitors next Thursday, 10th January, and to the general public on Saturday, 12th January, and Sunday, 13th January.
Situated on stand 7285, the Clio is being used to help promote the series where Belcher and BTCC race winner Dave Newsham both cut their teeth. Furthermore, the 2013 Legends Cars Champion will win a Clio test with Team Pyro – as part of a prize fund valued in excess of £5,000.
Following next week’s Autosport International Show, Belcher will embark on his pre-season testing programme for the 2013 Renault UK Clio Cup. Rounds one and two of the 16 race season will take place at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit in Kent over Easter weekend 30th/31st March.