The 41-year-old, winner of 4 BTCC races over two spells within the sequence, has bowed out of the West Surrey Racing BMW line-up after three seasons on the Sunbury squad.
Jelley is closing in on a return to Group Parker Racing, the Leicester man’s native group, with which he took seven race wins within the Carrera Cup throughout 2010-11 after which raced once more in 2015-16.
He additionally competed within the BTCC with the Stuart Parker-run squad from 2017-20, earlier than his transfer to WSR. However now a despair within the house-building market, during which he’s closely concerned operating the household enterprise, has pressured a readjustment of his racing programme.
The probably transfer comes laborious on the heels of fellow BTCC race winner Dan Lloyd confirming his own Carrera Cup GB programme with Toro Verde.
Jelley seems to be set to race the automobile owned and beforehand campaigned by fellow East Midlander Justin Sherwood – the a number of Novice class champion is prioritising the profession of his son, System 4 racer Jack.
“It’s not fairly performed but,” Jelley advised Autosport. “But when it does occur, I’m going to make use of Justin’s automobile which he’s not put a scratch on, in all probability put a scratch on it and simply hold going!
“The BTCC [budget] figures are simply so loopy lately at a time when the constructing trade, the place plenty of my sponsors come from, is on its knees.
“I simply should hold accountable with my racing and provide the very best worth for cash.
Picture by: JEP / Motorsport Images
Stephen Jelley, Group BMW BMW 330e M Sport
“Having seen the extent WSR go to in an effort to hold the automobiles dependable, and the updates they’ve acquired coming for the brand new season and the package deal they are going to have, they’re going to be super-strong.
“However NAPA Racing will likely be super-strong too, and from the outset it’s some huge cash to be there.
“I thought of whether or not stopping motorsport at this stage was the factor for me, however I made a decision I’m a bit unhappy actually and didn’t wish to! And I actually wished to drive once more for a group that I’ve acquired such a protracted relationship with.”
Jelley has not raced the present 992-spec Carrera Cup automobile, and a run on the sequence’ taster day at Silverstone final November didn’t provide many clues.
“I had a fast spin for a bit, but it surely was biblical rain,” he stated.
“However we’ve acquired plenty of testing lined up – it’s a luxurious in comparison with the BTCC.
“Group Parker Racing have gained the final two championships [with Kiern Jewiss in 2022, and Adam Smalley in 2023] in order that they’ve acquired plenty of information. And it’s rear-wheel drive – these Carrera Cup automobiles are such good race automobiles.”
WSR is understood to be nonetheless looking for a driver to interchange Jelley for 2024, though it does have names within the body.
Jake Hill is already confirmed, whereas four-time champion Colin Turkington has but to be formally introduced, however did speak publicly on the current Autosport International present concerning the coming season whereas carrying BMW regalia, and Adam Morgan can be strongly tipped to stay.