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Thursday, December 7, 2023

Thompson again as Huff seeks BTCC 2024 experience

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Thompson takes over the entry occupied at Knockhill final month by Rob Huff and can see out the season this weekend at Silverstone and subsequent month at Manufacturers Hatch. 

Reigning Jack Sears Trophy champion Thompson starred within the first half of this season, qualifying fourth at Oulton Park, however was compelled onto the sidelines thereafter when 2020 JST title winner Michael Crees introduced a price range to return to the BTCC. 

Nic Hamilton then abruptly give up the workforce on the morning of qualifying for the next spherical at Croft, creating the emptiness that was stuffed by 2012 World Touring Automobile champion Huff at Knockhill. 

After lacking the interim spherical at Donington Park attributable to clashing TCR World Tour commitments, Huff was tipped to return for Silverstone and Manufacturers.  

The 43-year-old has determined as an alternative to face down however is weighing up a return to his home championship for subsequent season, 20 years after his solely full-time BTCC season as a tin-top rookie with the works SEAT squad in 2004. 

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“It was nice for Tony [Gilham, Hard boss] to get me within the automotive at Knockhill, however sadly the celebs haven’t aligned for the remainder of the season,” Huff informed Autosport. 

“I will probably be attending Silverstone on Saturday to talk to groups about potential alternatives for subsequent 12 months for certain. 

Bobby Thompson, Autobrite Direct with Millers Oils Cupra Leon

Photograph by: JEP / Motorsport Images

“We’ve moved again to the UK [from Huff’s former residence in Dubai] and the BTCC is one thing I’d like to do. 

“It’s on my doorstep, it’s the place I grew up, and it’s the place I’d love to complete my profession off.” 

The second driver change of the season within the Hamilton/Huff/Thompson Cupra is towards the letter of BTCC laws concerning the TBL entrants’ licences. 

These permit just one driver swap, however Autosport understands that approval from the opposite groups has allowed Crew Laborious an exemption. 

Relating to the return of Thompson, Gilham stated: “Bobby’s dedication to Crew Laborious Racing has been inspiring, and we now have sorely missed his useful contribution off-track for the reason that summer time break.  

“We’re delighted to have him again and consider that this reunion will propel us to even higher heights as we glance to place the occasions of Donington behind us.”

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