Handy Motorsport owner and driver Simon Belcher says his team's licence to race in the BTCC is not for sale, despite approaches from rivals over the last few months.
The Swindon-based racer says he fully intends to be back on the grid in 2015, and aims to consolidate his results this season.
“There is a huge demand from people to obtain a licence to race in the BTCC at the moment," said Belcher. "Towards the end of last season, many of the smaller teams were approach by numerous other teams to buy a TBL [TOCA BTCC Licence]. Ours is not for sale.
Although the team is in the fortunate position of already having considerable funding from its current sponsors committed for 2015, Handy needs to bring in additional commercial support and financial backing to secure Belcher’s position in the driving seat.
With that in mind, the team’s other option is to consider the possibility of bringing a proven and successful BTCC racer, with some budget in place, into the fold to help develop the competitiveness of the Avensis at the quickest possible rate.
“I really want to stay behind the wheel of the car as we made some good progress towards the end of the 2014 season, but we need more funding to make that possible so this has led us to look at a couple of options”, added Belcher, “One of those is to bring a proven BTCC race winner into the team who can help us develop quicker.
"We are here for the long term, but if the right deal came along to lease out the licence and car for one year, and this in turn secured Handy’s long term future in the championship, we’d be foolish not to consider it.”
Belcher finished 28 out of the 30 races contested with a string of top 20 results and an 11th place finish in the Jack Sears Trophy battle.
Acquiring an ex-Speedworks Motorsport Toyota Avensis at the end of last year, Handy Motorsport forged a technical partnership with Speedworks for its BTCC debut and the two parties are now in the midst of negotiations linked to how the relationship could form part of Handy’s future plans.
“We have had great support from Speedworks this year in our first season in the BTCC”, commented Handy team principal Belcher, “It’s an experienced team, a great group of people to work with, and I hope we can work together again in the future.”