Handy Motorsport‘s Simon Belcher says he intends to move aside for three Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship meetings following this weekend’s visit to Croft.
Despite having started his second BTCC season with a points finish at Brands Hatch back in April, former Renault UK Clio Cup Masters class champion Belcher suffered a knock to his campaign at the championship’s third meeting at Thruxton, following a heavy accident with AmD Tuning‘s Mike Bushell in qualifying.
Although the substantial damage was repaired in time for the Speedworks-assisted Toyota Avensis to return to action at Oulton Park in early June, the £40,000 investment required has forced Belcher into the decision to step aside for at least three events following this weekend’s trip to Croft due to budget concerns.
Looking at a replacement, Belcher intends to return to the Avensis later in the season, stating: “Stepping aside from racing after Croft hasn’t been an easy decision to reach personally.
“We’ve discussed this at length as a team and bringing in another driver is definitely the best move for the immediate and long term future of Handy Motorsport. I’m really looking forward to Croft, I’m determined to get back to where we were at Brands Hatch at the start of the year.”
Pending an approval from TOCA, Belcher added that a replacement driver would be announced in the run up to Snetterton, the sixth round taking place across 8/9 August.
“We’re talking to a number of drivers and we’ll then need to get everything approved by TOCA. Ideally, we want to announce my replacement during the run up to Snetterton after the summer break”, Belcher added. “It will be a part-subsidised drive as funding is in place from our existing sponsorship base, so that offers us a great opportunity to talk to a wide variety of drivers – some with BTCC experience.”
Holding a single point to his name, Belcher also lies 20th in the Independents’ Championship while Handy Motorsport sit 14th in the Teams’ Championship overall.