Photo: Indira Flack

Ex-F1 racer Mark Blundell completes Trade Price Cars Racing line-up

Former F1 racer Mark Blundell will make his touring car debut in 2019 after concluding a deal to join the BTCC grid with Trade Price Cars Racing.

The 52-year-old will team up with Jake Hill at the wheel of one of the two Audi S3s being run this season by Trade Price Cars’ technical partners AmD Tuning.

Blundell will be making his return to top-level competition when the new season kicks off at Brands Hatch in April, having previously enjoyed success at the highest levels of the sport.

During his time in Formula 1, Blundell secured multiple podium finishes whilst competing for the likes of McLaren, Tyrell, Liger and Brabham and also enjoyed success in the USA where he picked up three victories in the now-defunct CART series.

Blundell also took victory in the Le Mans 24 Hours with Peugeot back in 1992 and was part of the Bentley team that secured a 1-2 finish in the famous French endurance event in 2003.

The move to return to racing will see Blundell combine his on-track activities with running his successful sports management business, which includes DTM champion Gary Paffett amongst its stable of drivers.

“Once the opportunity arose to get back behind the wheel, it was something I was very keen to make happen,” he said. “The British Touring Car Championship is a fantastic series that I have always wanted to race in, but it hasn’t been possible until now.

“I’ve been lucky enough to have had a fantastic motor racing career to date and have been a part of British motorsport for many years. The sport is in a fantastic place across the UK at the current time, and the BTCC and TOCA package are a major part of that.

“This is going to be a new challenge for me but one that I am really excited about. Alan Gow and I have been chatting for a number of years about taking part in the BTCC and I’m delighted that the time is right to finally take this step and at my age, I want to make sure that I am taking on such a prestigious championship whilst I am still geared up to do so competitively.

“The enthusiasm of Dan [Kirby] and Shaun [Hollamby] has been great to see, and I’m looking forward to contributing to a successful season ahead for everyone in the team.”

Trade Price Cars managing director Dan Kirby said he was thrilled to be able to bring Blundell onboard for the team’s first season in the series.

“We’re absolutely delighted to be able to announce the signing of Mark to complete the driver line-up for our debut season in the BTCC,” he said. “It’s a signing that reflects all the work that has been going on behind the scenes, and shows how serious we are about this programme.

“There is no doubt that this is a big deal for us, and we are massively excited to have Mark onboard for the season ahead.”

Work to complete the winter rebuild of the two Audis is now nearing completion ahead of pre-season testing, with team principal Shaun Hollamby confident that the driver pairing would prove to be strong during the year ahead.

“Having concluded a deal early to sign Jake Hill, we’ve been working hard to secure the right driver to complete our driver line-up, and are pleased to have now agreed a deal with Mark Blundell,” he said. “To attract a driver who has been on the podium in F1, and who has won at Le Mans and in Indy Cars, is a big coup for us as a team, and we are delighted to bring him onboard.

“With the testing programme we have in place, we’re confident that Mark will be up to speed by the time we get to Brands Hatch, and that he will work well with Jake to give us an exciting driver pairing in the Audis for the year ahead.”