Multiple race winning BTCC team establishes driver development academy
MINI Challenge racer Lydia Walmsley first to join new programme
BTC Racing underscores commitment to support UK’s best young talent
Kwik-Fit British Touring Car Championship team BTC Racing has launched an exciting new ‘Young Driver Programme’ which intends to support and nurture the brightest and best future BTCC talent.
As part of this morning’s announcement, BTC Racing team owner Steve Dudman has confirmed top MINI Challenge racer Lydia Walmsley as the first member of the squad’s Young Driver Programme ahead of her maiden season in the premier JCW class of the BTCC feeder series.
Lydia, from Ipswich, firmly established herself as one of the true front-runners in the MINI Challenge’s Cooper Championship – last year racing to fifth in the standings and the highest placed Independent driver. Now, the 19-year-old has the tremendous opportunity to develop her skills further with the support of BTC Racing.
The team has signed a three-year deal with the former karting champion, with the aim of helping Lydia to become the first female driver to win the JCW crown in MINI Challenge. Looking ahead, the plan is for the talented youngster to test one of BTC’s touring cars in year three of the association.
The creation of the BTC Racing Young Driver Programme underlines the long-held commitment of Steve Dudman to assist aspiring professional drivers up the ladder, while also helping to open some doors along the way.
MINI Challenge, of course, is a key support category to the BTCC and the JCW cars will appear at seven of the 10 touring car events throughout 2021. Rounds one, two and three of the MINI season will take place at Snetterton 300 Circuit in Norfolk – Lydia’s ‘home’ track – on 12th/13th June.
Steve Dudman – BTC Racing Owner and Team Principal:
“This really is a very exciting development for BTC Racing. I’ve long been considering establishing a Young Driver Programme, so I’m very proud to make this announcement today. Equally, I’m every bit as delighted and proud to announce Lydia as our first signing to the new BTC Racing programme. I’ve been unbelievably impressed with her development on track, she had a fantastic season last year.
“We’ve signed Lydia on a three-year deal and will be providing her with key support, starting this year with her debut season in the JCW class. With the championship running alongside the BTCC, Lydia will have the opportunity to learn from our professional drivers and engineers and will, of course, be an important ambassador for BTC Racing at tracks up and down the country.”
Lydia Walmsley – BTC Racing Young Driver Programme:
“It is an absolute dream come true to be part of BTC Racing and their all new driver development programme. I cann
ot believe how lucky and fortunate I am to have signed with a British Touring Car team.
"It’s something that I’ve always dreamed of but sometimes didn’t think would ever happen, let alone at only 19 years old! I am so thankful to Steve Dudman who has put his faith in me and given me this wonderful opportunity, but also to everyone at BTC Racing for all of their hard work so far.”