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Wood to branch out

Reigning Jack Sears Trophy winner Lea Wood is hoping to confirm his place on the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship grid next season, and the Hereford racer already has one eye on defending his title.

With the entire grid moving to NGTC machinery in 2014 the Jack Sears Trophy will take a new, yet undecided, route. This year the trophy was awarded to the leading driver in a S2000 car and that man was emphatically Wood. Driving for his family-run team Wood swept all before him on the way to securing an impressive crown, which was awarded to Lea by the main man himself – inaugural BTCC champion Jack Sears.

Now Wood is looking to show his skills in an NGTC car for 2014, and admits that he’s assessing a number of options. “We’re talking to existing BTCC teams, which I think is our preferred route at the moment, but there’s always the possibility to run the car ourselves again,” he said.

“From a personal point of view it would be ideal to run with a team who has already been through the NGTC learning curve, so that I can just concentrate on driving as fast as I can straight from the off.

“It was great to share podiums with some of the big names last year but now I want to do it for overall honours. Given the right equipment I am sure I can run at the front and I think you need to be confident.

“Whatever is decided as being the new rules for the Jack Sears Trophy, I just want to be in there with a chance to defend my title.”

Wood amassed an incredible 18 victories from 30 races last season, finishing in all but two of the contests.

“I am still over the moon with how it went,” he continued. “The Jack Sears Trophy was brilliant for us as it gave me a chance to show what I can do in the best championship in Britain. It not only raised my profile but I thought there was some truly great racing out there, often alongside some NGTC cars, so it has put me in good stead for next year.”

Wood was unable to comment on where his future may lie for next season, although he was hopeful that a deal could be confirmed sooner rather than later.

“We’re working hard on it and we have a number of people interested particularly after the performances from this year,” concluded Lea. “Now it’s just about assessing all the options carefully and coming up with the right route for my career.”

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