GKR TradePriceCars.com Racing will field a completely new line-up at Snetterton this weekend with Ethan Hammerton set to return to the British Touring Car Championship to replace Jack Sears Trophy leader, Bobby Thompson.
Hammerton competed for a temporary stint back in 2018 for the same team and went on to compete in the Clio Cup UK with a familiar rival in Paul Rivett set to be his teammate this weekend. He claimed a win and multiple podiums in the championship.
He has gone on to compete in the MINI Challenge UK but due to a heavy incident, his car will not run this weekend and an opportunity has now presented itself due to Thompson not being medically cleared to race after suffering a concussion at Croft.
“It’s really frustrating to not be able to race this weekend, particularly when Croft had been going so well,” said Thompson. “Scoring my best-ever qualifying result and then taking two top-eight finishes meant it was my best weekend in the BTCC, but that got overshadowed by the incident in race three.
“As a driver, you always want to go out there and race and I was desperate to try and reward the team for all the work that has gone into repairing the car, but this time, I’ve got to listen to what the experts are saying and sit things out.
“Obviously that isn’t ideal for me in terms of the Jack Sears Trophy but the key thing is that I have points on the board and the guys who are chasing me don’t, so it’s still all to play for.
“Hopefully Paul and Ethan can take some points off my rivals and my focus is on making sure I’m fully fit to come out and fight for the title when we get to Brands Hatch.”
For Hammerton, while he is looking forward to it, the lack of time in the car will hamper him and he will just look to improve over the course of the weekend.
“I didn’t expect to be racing this weekend because of the damage to my MINI,” added Hammerton. “It was a nice surprise to get the call asking if I would be available to stand in for Bobby – particularly when both GKR and Trade Price Cars were involved when I made my touring car debut.
“I’m really excited to be given an unexpected opportunity to return to the BTCC, but I have to be realistic about my chances as I haven’t done any testing and the first time I’ll drive the Audi will be in practice on Saturday morning.
“My aim is to improve my times in each session as I get used to the car, and hopefully we can move forwards in the three races – especially the final two when I don’t have to run the extra weight that comes with being a new driver.”