MOTOR RACING: Mark returns to Renault racing after 21-year hiatus

Classic Renault 5 Turbo Cup action from the 1993 when Mark Howard won the championship title. Photo: Jakob Ebrey
Classic Renault 5 Turbo Cup action from the 1993 when Mark Howard won the championship title. Photo: Jakob Ebrey
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A Westborough racing driver and former champion is returning to the track.

1993 Renault 5 ELF Turbo UK Cup champion Mark Howard will rekindle his association with the Renault brand this season – some 21 years since winning the title – having purchased a new fourth generation Clio Cup car for participation in this year’s Renault UK Clio Cup.

Forty-nine-year-old Mark will contest his maiden season in Renault UK’s flagship contemporary saloon car championship in a 1.6-litre turbo-powered Clio with the Kidderminster-based DRM Motorsport Solutions squad.

After winning the Renault 5 title with Mark Fish Motorsport, Mark left the racing scene to focus on family and business commitments, but made a long overdue return to action in 2011 in the Volkswagen Racing Cup.

Making a handful of appearances in Radicals the following year, added to a few more VW outings, he returned to the sidelines once again last season but is now ready to mount a full-time campaign in the prestigious Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship-supporting Renault UK Clio Cup.

Mark said: “Twenty-one years after winning the championship, I’m back with Renault to race people who weren’t even born when I had my previous success. I’m firmly in the Masters Cup class now and it’s going to be an interesting time seeing if I still have the reactions and speed to match my competitiveness.

“I can’t wait to get out there in the car. It’s a big challenge, one I really am relishing, but I’m not taking anything for granted as it’s a very long time since I won in the Renault 5 Turbo UK Cup!”

The opening two rounds of the championship will be at Brands Hatch next weekend.