Edwards has raced successfully in GT competition in recent seasons and also boosted her profile as a driver coach (to Johnny Vegas) on the ITV celebrity driving show Drive.
A move to the UK Clio Cup, though, marks something of a ‘home coming’ for the 26-year-old. Her father Jim won the championship in 2000 having previously lifted the French manufacturer’s 5 GT Turbo title a decade before. Her grandfather Jim Snr was also the Renault UK 5 TS Champion in 1979…
She commented: “Becoming the third generation of Edwards to race in the UK Clio Cup is a dream come true for my family, but it is also going to require a change of mindset from me after several seasons of endurance competition.'
“Front wheel drive is something almost alien to me, but I did start my career in short sprint races like you get in Clios and, having watched the championship ever since my father became Champion, I know the type of racing involved. It is very intense but I’m really looking forward to it.”
Ciceley Team Manager and BTCC star himself Adam Morgan added: “Jade is a fantastic name to bring into our UK Clio Cup line-up alongside Max Coates, Luke Reade and Sam Osborne.
“She immediately proved very rapid in her first test with us and we’ve been working to get her on board ever since. Furthermore Jade is terrific with sponsors and the fans and I believe she is going to surprise a lot of people with her pace and results.”
Renault Sport’s UK Motorsport Championship Manager Will Fewkes said: “We’re delighted to announce that Jade will be on the UK Clio Cup grid in 2017, particularly given her family’s rich history with Renault Sport in the UK. On saying that she is successfully making a career as a racing driver in her own right and I predict she will quickly feel at home in the UK Clio Cup’s competitive environment.”
The 2017 Renault UK Clio Cup gets under way at the world famous circuit of Brands Hatch, Kent on Sat 1/Sun 2 April along with the opening rounds of this year’s British Touring car Championship. All 18 races on the UK Clio Cup calendar will take place at the BTCC’s high profile events meaning huge trackside crowds as well as live free-to-air TV coverage on ITV4 for its teams, drivers and sponsors.