Edwards targeting Clio Cup for 2019
Edwards targeting Clio Cup for 2019

Nathan Edwards is targeting the starting grid for the final ever season of the Renault UK Clio Cup.

Having taken part in three rounds of the 2018 season Nathan really wants to be back out there again in 2019.

Giving his thoughts on competing in three rounds of the championship last year, he said: “Putting it briefly, we learnt a great amount. You can never underestimate how good the competition is in the UK Renault Clio Cup, you really are up against the best!”

“Whilst each weekend presented different challenges, the biggest was not being able to have enough time to adapt to the car so we were always on the back foot going into each weekend effectively playing catch up.

“It’s a lot to take in racing in front of massive crowds and against some of the top drivers in the UK outside of the British Touring Car Championship, although the results weren’t where we wanted to be there were enjoyable moments.”

Whilst Nathan didn’t get the results that he wanted last season, he did finish third in the Graduates cup, which is something he was happy with.

He added: “It is a good achievement considering we competed in the least number of weekends of anyone in the Graduate Cup. Next season we are able to compete in the Graduate Cup again and we are aiming to improve on third.”

We asked Nathan if he had any highlights from the 2018 season that he looks back on and enjoyed the racing from.

“The opening weekend Sunday’s wet encounter proved to be the best race of my short season, rising from 14th to 11th by the end, managing to overtake and mix it with more experienced Clio drivers, one of which went on to win the next five races!

“I took great confidence from this and was the consequence of having had more wet weather testing than dry; this also gives me confidence for the 2019 season that more dry weather testing will see me move forward in these conditions.

“Another highlight would have to be back at Brands Hatch this time on the GP Circuit. During Race 1 on the Saturday of the final weekend, I started 17th and within five corners I had made my way up to 11th place. Sadly I was caught up in usual Clio Cup antics and bundled off through the gravel which put pay to a possible top ten finish but there was many positives to take from this.”

Edwards’ home track is Brands Hatch and we asked Nathan what it was like racing on his home circuit.

He said: “Racing at Brands Hatch is always nice for two reasons, I get to sleep in my own bed and it is much easier for friends and family to come and support.

Apart from grabbing a Pole Position back in Fiesta Juniors, I’ve sadly endured bad luck and not enjoyed many good results at Brands Hatch, until this past season.”

Edwards also raced with WDE Motorsport who are also a Kent based team, a team which he knows well.

He added: “Wayne Eason, the WDE Motorsport team principal has never stopped helping me from back in my Fiesta Junior day’s right through to seniors so it was a no brainer to join his team for my Clio Cup debut.

“They didn’t disappoint and are a fantastic outfit to work with not just with their unrivalled knowledge of the cars, which is paramount because of how close everyone is, but also having ultra-quick teammates to learn from via Feedback, Data and Footage.

“Another plus point of the team is working with Paul Rivett, who has so much experience of the cars and is always on hand to help. He has also won the UK Renault Clio Cup Championship a record 4 times including his triumph this past season, proving how good the team work and what they achieve.”

As Nathan said he worked with WDE Motorsport for his Fiesta campaigns, he talks through the differences between the Fiesta and Clio Cup championship.

“Having started my career with another Kent based team, Daniels Motorsport in the BRSCC Fiesta Junior Championship aged 14 and ultimately becoming a front runner and Race Winner, I moved up to the Senior Fiesta Championship in 2016 and by mid-way through the season, I was again a Race Winner.

“Whist 2017 was a disappointment with a change of team resulting in countless reliability issues, we called time and the natural progression was and is to move up to the UK Renault Clio Cup.

“The Clio championship itself is a massive step up in terms of competitor ability. The Clio’s are also purpose built race cars from the ground up by Renault Sport; they are left hand drive with full race brakes, paddle shift gearbox and 220bhp engines; this is just some of what I had to get use to over and above the Fiesta let alone other general characteristics of the car.”

Finally we asked Nathan what his plans are for the coming season, and whether he is looking to be back in the Clip Cup again.

He said: “We are working harder than ever with our Sponsor Partners to make sure we are on the Clio Cup grid come April at Brands Hatch and hopefully for a full season. We are desperate to have a good crack at a full campaign and who knows what may come at the end of it if we are able to secure a full season.”

Images courtesy of www.pspimages.co.uk