Hamilton to make sensational return to the BTCC
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 ROKiT-sponsored 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 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 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.
“I am very proud that I finally get this chance to have a full crack at motorsport and to be doing it in the BTCC, driving for a competitive outfit such as Motorbase Performance, is unbelievable,” added Hamilton. “It gives me great pride in knowing that, when I sit in my car this year, I did it all off my own back and I can’t wait to get started.
“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 challenging the status quo. They offer premium smartphones technology, performance and design at an affordable price, as well as installing innovative Wi-Fi networks to make the world a better place. 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.”
ROKiT, Hamilton’s new title sponsor, is a telecommunications company launching its glasses-free 3D-capable Android smartphones in the UK and US later this year.
The company’s lifestyle package, ‘ROK Life Services’ includes vehicle breakdown, recovery and Home Start, plus lost or broken key cover and worldwide Personal Accident insurance, while it is also working internationally to develop smart cities with groundbreaking mesh Wi-Fi networks.
Motorbase Performance Team Principal David Bartrum said he was delighted to be welcoming Hamilton into the Kent-based squad.
“I’m looking forward to Nic joining us in the BTCC. He brings a different type of journey for us to go on with him. He also brings with him a steely determination, a willingness to learn and a craving to succeed.
“From what I’ve of Nic so far, his approach is very professional and I would defy anyone to spend five minutes in his company not to be inspired by him.
“We have a very good pre-season test schedule to give him time to acquaint himself with the team and his new car to give him the best chance possible.”
Hamilton joins Tom Chilton and Ollie Jackson in the three-car Motorbase Performance-run line-up, competing under the ROKiT with Motorbase banner.