Lea Wood Takes Driving Sabbatical For 2015 Season


Lea Wood has announced that he is stepping down from driving duties in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship in the build-up to 2015, but says that his JWT Performance squad will continue in the series.

The 2013 Jack Sears Trophy champion will inherit a management role within the team instead after 120 races behind the wheel in the BTCC since 2010, describing the move the move as a “sabbatical” as he attempts to steer his family-based team to further success in the future.

Rob Houseman remains Team Principal while Greg Wood relinquishes his internal duties due to outside business and family commitments. Lea will take over the role of the latter on the pit wall for the coming season and co-partner Rob in a re-structured attack for the team, who raced with a Toyota Avensis in 2014.

“The BTCC is an extremely competitive and professional championship and the teams involved have the pinnacle of motor racing management and engineers,” said Wood.

“Our team needed more structure and I’ve taken the tough decision to relinquish my drive to better the team’s potential. We have been approached by several drivers looking at taking my seat and this prompted our team management and myself to look at the achievable potential by taking this different route.

“I feel that being a current BTCC driver will aid the communication chain between driver and engineer, as I know the car’s characteristics better than anyone. Although I’m sad not to be driving this year, I’m very excited at my new role.”

The team is currently in talks with several potential drivers, but it is said that no deal has been signed as of yet while the scramble for places on the 2015 grid intensifies.

Houseman added: “The mature decision made by Lea has helped us to keep continuity in the management structure of the team without outsourcing. We know this is a temporary role as Lea’s career is far from over as a driver and his help this year will be invaluable, but we know his future plans are to be back in the driver’s seat so we need to utilise his skills whilst we have the luxury of them.”

Lea Wood’s BTCC in numbers:

BTCC starts

120

Best result

5th (Oulton Park, 2012)

Best Championship position

14th (2012)

2013 Jack Sears Championship

Winner (18 wins)