Simon Belcher will return to the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship for a second season in 2015 after this morning, Friday, 14th November, confirming he will continue in the UK’s premier motor racing category with Handy Motorsport at the wheel of the team’s Toyota Avensis.
Eyeing consistent progression for his sophomore year in the ultra-competitive BTCC, the Swindon driver is determined to build on the good foundations laid in 2014 where he achieved several top 20 results and finished in 11th position in the Jack Sears Trophy.
In recent weeks, Wiltshire-based Handy Motorsport has considered a variety of options for its second season at the pinnacle of domestic racing and, as such, held talks with two experienced multiple BTCC race winners before opting to continue with Belcher in the driving seat.
“I am delighted to be back on the BTCC grid for a second season, being able to announce our return so early should put us in the strongest possible position for 2015”, said the 40-year-old, “We had a fantastic time in the championship this year, it was such a good experience and so much better than we ever expected.
“We haven’t finalised all of the plans yet, but it is all coming together and I am targeting considerable improvements next season where we will also be strengthening our engineering team which should help us push forward and move further up the grid.”
As well as retaining Belcher for its second year in touring cars, Handy Motorsport can also confirm it will continue to work in collaboration with Speedworks Motorsport after enjoying a very beneficial partnership in 2014.
Christian Dick’s Speedworks outfit was a pioneer with NGTC [Next Generation Touring Cars] when first introduced and, with hugely experienced staff, the extension of the relationship makes logical sense according to Belcher – especially with Speedworks running a sister Toyota Avensis.
“Handy Motorsport and Speedworks worked very well together this year, Christian [Dick] runs a great team and I am personally delighted to continue our partnership”, he added, “With such terrific continuity, hopes are high we can really make the most of it and start to climb the order in the BTCC. There’s a lot of hard work ahead, but we can’t wait to get started.”
Handy Motorsport is currently planning an extensive package of improvements for its Toyota Avensis, which the team will back-up with a full testing programme in the New Year during the build-up to the opening event of the 2015 season on 4th/5th April at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit in Kent.