Simon Belcher’s HMS Racing squad have confirmed they are to sit out the 2019 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship after they were unable to commit to the season in time for the BTCC Registration Deadline which had been on November 30.
Attributed to several factors, the incredibly tough decision of loaning out their TOCA BTCC License (TBL) and then announcing they are to sit out next season was obviously a disappointment for Simon and his staff following an encouraging 2018.
HMS Racing brought back the Alfa Romeo name to the grid in 2018 when they competed with the Giulietta model and this news will be a huge blow to both fans of the Italian marque and also their driver Rob Austin who has been with the team since 2016.
Despite the announcement, plans are now being put into action in order for HMS to return to the championship in 2020. The TBL as used by the team has been loaned to Motorbase.
Team Principal Simon Belcher was undoubtedly disappointed with the news,
“We are beyond disappointed HMS Racing will not be on the grid in the BTCC next year after five years of continual progression.
“Very unfortunately we have had hurdles placed in front of us which we simply can’t overcome in the timeframe required to meet the registration deadline.
“Rest assured, we will do everything in our power to overcome this setback to our long-term BTCC plans and have every intention to return for 2020. We remain totally committed to the BTCC, it is by far the best championship in the UK and is where we want to be, and where we should be. We’ve proven over the past couple of years we have the ability to be consistent front-runners and genuine challengers.”
Meanwhile, Rob Austin laments the fact that all the hard work that he and the team put on the Alfa Romeo Giulietta will not be seen on track next year,
“This is heart breaking news, we worked so hard to bring the Alfa Romeo to the BTCC grid and have worked through the tough period of development that’s required with a new car.
“We felt we were making progress and, with a solid winter testing programme, believe we could have enjoyed a strong 2019.
“I’m not sure what 2019 holds for me as a driver, but I certainly hope I can be a part of the future return of HMS and finish the work we started with the Alfa Romeo.”