British Touring Car Championship

Halstead stands in for Parfitt

British GT, and former Ginetta Supercup driver Nick Halstead will stand in for Rick Parfitt Junior at ExcelR8 Motorsport for next week's Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship meeting at Croft.

The 49 year old has been racing for Fox Motorsport in a McLaren 570S which he shares with Jamie Stanley.

Halstead competed in the Am category of the Ginetta GT Supercup last season, finishing third in the championship.

Halstead will line up alongside team regulars Tom Ingram, Chris Smiley and Jack Butel at Croft, with his outing in the Hyundai being supported by Ascential.

“Since I started racing in 2017, competing in the British Touring Car Championship has been an ambition,” said Halstead. “That only grew once I was on the TOCA package in the Ginetta Supercup and I could really get a sense of the scale of the series and the passion of the fans.

“I’m thrilled to be able to tick that box at Croft thanks to EXCELR8 Motorsport, Rick and Ascential. Although most of my racing has been in rear-wheel-drive GT cars, I’ve been competitive in front-wheel-drive racing before and I’m excited to experience the UK’s top touring car series in the Hyundai.”

“Since Knockhill, my back has been getting worse,” admitted Parfitt. “And although I was able to compete at Thruxton, I’ve been advised by my doctor that the best course of action is to rest it. I’m gutted to miss Croft as it’s a circuit I have never competed at before, but I’m excited that Nick – who is a good friend – is able to come in and take my place.

“Although it is hugely disappointing for me on a personal level, at the same time it’s fantastic that Nick can now fulfil a dream he has to compete in the BTCC. I’ll be rocking on all cylinders when we go to Silverstone.”

“It’s a real shame that Rick has been advised to sit out the weekend at Croft given the strong performance he put in at Thruxton, particularly when you consider the discomfort he was feeling with his back,” said Team Owner Justina Williams. “At the same time, it’s great to welcome Nick into the fold for his BTCC debut and we’re looking forward to seeing how he gets on. We know it will be a big challenge for him to step into the car for his debut mid-season, and will provide him with all the support he needs to get the best results possible from the weekend.”

British Touring Car Championship