Renault Sport Racing has decided to postpone the introduction of its new Clio Cup UK championship until 2021.
After it was announced that Renault UK was ending its backing of the Clio Cup following the 2019 season, it had looked like the end of the road for the popular series.
But, last September, Renault Sport Racing stepped in and decided to support a UK Clio Cup for 2020 that would feature the new fifth-generation Clio and would move from running alongside the British Touring Car Championship to joining British GT meetings.
A seven-event schedule was put together beginning in May, that also included trips to Magny-Cours and Barcelona, designed to give teams chance to test the new machinery prior to the start of the season.
However, the global coronavirus pandemic meant the opening event of the season was pushed back to mid-August and also meant teams would receive ordered cars later.
Renault Sport Racing has therefore now taken the decision that it would be better for the category to launch in 2021.
Benoit Nogier, RSR customer racing director, said: "This is not a decision that we have taken lightly at all.
"It is important to stress that our decision is based on feedback from the teams as much as anything else.
"There is no escaping the fact that COVID-19 has had consequences for business models - that includes those of teams in the UK.
"As stakeholders, we have listened carefully to them and, now in July, clearly they would prefer more time to test the new Clio Cup car being introduced in 2020.
"Our ambition is very much to return with a full Clio Cup UK championship in 2021.
"Our commitment remains as strong as ever to make new Clio Cup UK as accessible as possible for club racers and novices just as much as career-minded drivers; also to build a sense of mutual regard and community on our grid."
Teams will still have the opportunity to test the cars during British GT events later this year and have also been invited to join up with the French and Spanish series.
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