Mini Challenge front-runner Lydia Wlamsley has been signed to the brand-new Young Driver Programme launched by BTCC race-winning team BTC Racing.
19-year old British racer Lydia Walmsley will be the first driver to be signed to the new Young Driver Programme launched by BTCC race-winning team BTC Racing, as team owner Steve Dudman confirmed.
The British outfit will be at the forefront in the support and development of young national talents, with the aim of finding the next BTCC champion.
Walmsley contested the Mini Challenge Great Britain championship in 2020, scoring two podiums and finishing fifth in the standings – the highest placed independent driver.
She will step up to the premier JCW class in 2021, as part of the BTCC support package. The Ipswich-based racer will thus have a remarkable opportunity to further advance her career in touring cars, with the ultimate goal of reaching the popular Kwik-Fit British Touring Car Championship.
With the freshly-signed three-year deal, Walmsley will count on the support of BTC Racing for her upcoming campaign and will target to become the first ever Mini Challenge champion in the series' history. Furthermore, she is expected to test one of the BTC Racing touring cars in her third year into the programme.
“It is an absolute dream come true to be part of BTC Racing and their all new driver development programme." – commented Lydia.
"I cannot 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.” – she added.
The creation of the BTC Racing Young Driver Programme marks an important step for the team led by Steve Dudman, as well as for the team's commitment in supporting female racing drivers. BTC Racing will also line up Jade Edwards in her first full-time seat in the BTCC in 2021, after the 31-year old lady had entered the Silverstone weekend in the Power Maxed Racing Astra.
“This really is a very exciting development for BTC Racing." – said Dudman.
"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.”
A former karting champion, Walmsley was also recently announced as part of the Motorsport UK Academy "Team Future UK" selection. Among the other female names on the lists, there are also Jessica Edgar and Emily Linscott, while British F4 front-runner Abbi Pulling will enter her second year in the programme.
The 2021 Mini Challenge Trophy will follow BTCC at 7 out of the 10 events, with the first triple header round scheduled for 12/13 June at Snetterton.