George Gamble joins expanded Speedworks line-up
Speedworks has confirmed that George Gamble will join existing pair Rory Butcher and Ricky Collard in its expanded three-car line-up for the 2023 BTCC season.
The trio will continue to run under the Toyota Gazoo Racing UK banner this year in the Corolla GR Sport, which will now be powered by a bespoke Toyota engine developed by Neil Brown Engineering.
The same company is behind the BMW and Honda units already seen on the grid.
Gamble joins the team after an impressive rookie campaign with Ciceley Motorsport that saw him score a podium finish on his first weekend in the series before grabbing a maiden win in the series at Knockhill.
“Joining Toyota Gazoo Racing UK is a mega opportunity for me in only my second year in the championship,” he said. “To be associated with one of the world’s leading manufacturers – which is successful in pretty much everything it turns its hand to – is massive, and I think I’m in a really good position.
“It takes a season to properly acclimatise to the BTCC because it’s just so different to any other series and the racing is incredibly hard, but now I know much more what to expect, I can hopefully hit the ground running. There’s tremendous motivation inside this team; everybody really wants to win, and it’s great to be in such a competitive environment. I’m really excited.”
New team-mate Butcher was one of the form drivers in the latter stages of the 2022 season, finishing in the top six in the final nine races and picking up five podium finishes from the final six.
The Scot will go into his third season with the Toyota looking to try and launch a championship challenge.
“I feel like I’m going into 2023 in the best shape so far, not just in terms of the updates brought to the Corolla but also in terms of the people I have around me,” he said. “It’s great to have that continuity of team and car for the third year in a row, and having ended last season so strongly, I really want to pick up from where we left off and be right in the mix and gunning for glory from the outset.
“Ricky and George are both top drivers and real assets to the team, and I’m looking forward to working closely with the pair of them to push this whole project forward.”
Collard meanwhile returns for a second season in the car having reversed a decision that would have seen him walk away from the series at the end of the 2022 campaign.
“It’s no secret that some tough times last year made me seriously question my future in racing and whether or not I should carry on, but there were also a lot of positives and after talking very openly and honestly with Christian [Dick] and John [Gilbert – Speedworks Managing Director] over the winter, I realised I wanted to give this my very best shot in a competitive package, which is what I believe we’ve got,” he said.
“The Corolla clearly has great potential and I really appreciate all the hard work that Toyota (GB) are putting in. The future looks very bright for this team, and I absolutely want to be a part of that.”