Photo: AmD Tuning

Nicolas Hamilton excited about BTCC debut at Croft

Nicolas Hamilton says he can’t wait to get his BTCC career started at Croft this weekend, when he becomes the first disabled driver to compete in the series.

The 23-year-old, who lives with the neurological condition Cerebral Palsy, will race the ex-Robb Holland Audi S3 for AmD Tuning as the Kent team expands to a two-car team for the first time.

The younger brother of double F1 champion Lewis heads to Croft on the back of a solid testing programme which has seen him rack up the miles at Brands Hatch, Donington Park and Snetterton.

He will be taking part in his first race meeting since 2013, when he raced a Seat Leon in the European Touring Car Cup.

“I’m excited about starting my BTCC career at Croft,” Hamilton said. “The unique mix of fast, flowing corners and tight, twisty sections means close wheel-to-wheel racing, especially in the BTCC.

“I’ve had to work and train hard to get to the stage where I can race in the BTCC and I know it will be tough, but it’s all about learning. I want to develop and push myself, and we’ll see what happens.

“Regardless of their condition, it’s also important for me to show people how they can exceed expectations and push themselves to their limit. I can’t wait to go racing.”

Team boss Shaun Hollamby said: “It’s a big step for us this weekend as we expand to run a second car and it’s a progression of the motorsport side of the business after our expansion into GT racing earlier in the year. There is no doubt that these are exciting times for and we are looking forward to Nicolas making his long awaited debut when we get to Croft.

“Testing with the Audi has gone well and Nicolas has been able to get himself comfortable behind the wheel. There are two targets for him this weekend; to qualify in the field on Saturday and then take three finishes on Sunday. If he can do that, then we’ll be pleased.”

On the other side of the garage, reigning Clio Cup champion Mike Bushell will seek to bring a tough opening half of the season to a positive end at the wheel of his Ford Focus ST.

“It’s been a tough season so far, but hopefully Croft will be the weekend where our luck finally turns,” he said. “The pace we showed in race three at Oulton Park last time out has given us a good foundation to build on this weekend and I’m desperate to pick up some more points before the summer break.

“The results have been below what I was expecting so far and it’s important for me to show everyone, and show myself, what I’m capable of. Croft is a circuit where I think the Focus will be a good package and it’s one that I enjoy, so hopefully we’ll have a bit more luck than we’ve had so far this year.”