NGK-sponsored Nicolas Hamilton will re-join the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship in 2019, for his first full assault on the series at the wheel of a Motorbase Performance Ford Focus RS.
Hamilton contested 12 rounds of the UK’s premier motor racing championship in 2015 at the wheel of an Audi S3, but now the brother of five-time world F1 champion Lewis says he is chomping at the bit to get his teeth into a full 30-race programme.
The 26-year-old said: “I cannot actually believe that I will be back on the BTCC grid this year. I have been in and out of different series since I started racing due to a lack of funding and general support.
“A lot of people assume that due to my name, I will have all of the funding in the world, but this could not be any further from the truth. I have been on my own for the past six years, grinding away, trying to get a full season under my belt with all of the support I need.
“I have not had a continuous career in motorsport that allows me to work on my foundation. I have just been testing at the races, doing a decent job due to my funding level and experience, but getting judged on who I am related to.”
Hamilton is being sponsored by NGK in the championship and visited the ignition specialist’s stand at the recent Autosport International Show at Birmingham’s NEC where he met NGK staff, customers and motorsport fans.
Mark Hallam, Marketing Manager, NGK Spark Plugs (UK) Ltd, said: “We are delighted to be sponsoring Nicolas in this year’s British Touring Car Championship. It was great to meet him at the Autosport International show and hear about his plans for 2019. I’m sure that all our customers who follow the BTCC will be supporting him on his return to the championship in what should be an exciting season.”
Hamilton will race a specially modified Ford Focus RS as he competes with cerebral palsy. The cars will be shaken down in mid-February before the Motorbase team heads to Spain for an intensive testing schedule ahead of the 2019 campaign.
He said: “I am still very inexperienced and am just going to take it all in my stride, do as best as I can, drive like I know I can, develop my craft and see where that takes me.
“I have a new ‘title partner’ this year, ROKiT, an exciting new telco brand, offering premium smartphone technology, performance and design at an affordable price. I am absolutely honoured to be representing them in 2019.
“As well as having ROKiT on-board, each specific relationship I have with my additional partners is very personal to me. Each brand/company has their own story behind their support for me and I am truly grateful. Monster Energy, BigChange, DUO PLC, PalmerSport, PUMA Motorsport, Arai Helmets and NGK Spark Plugs. Without their collective support, an opportunity like this would be impossible.”
The new Kwik Fit BTCC season kicks off at Brands Hatch in Kent on April 6-7.
For more information about NGK Spark Plugs (UK) Ltd and its products and services please visit www.ngkntk.com