Former Formula 1 star, Le Mans 24-Hour winner and multiple IndyCar winner Mark Blundell will contest the 2019 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship with Trade Price Cars Racing driving one of their Audi S3 Saloons’.
Blundell has had a long and illustrious career in motorsport which will now extend into a 32nd year. He has drove for McLaren, Brabham, Tyrrell and Ligier in a 61-race Formula 1 career, collecting many podium finishes along the way.
In 1992, Blundell claimed top spot at the legendary 24-Hours of Le Mans at the wheel of the Peugeot Talbot Sport car, alongside teammate’s Derek Warwick and Yannick Dalmas. In addition to this, Blundell enjoyed multiple victories in his IndyCar career.
However, Blundell has never raced in Touring Cars with this season being his first foray into the discipline. Blundell will combine the full 30-race calendar with his continuing role as CEO of MB Partners, something which he is excited about.
“Once the opportunity arose to get back behind the wheel, it was something I was very keen to make happen,” Blundell told the BTCC website. “The British Touring Car Championship is a fantastic series that I have always wanted to race in but it has never been possible until now.
“I have been lucky enough to have had a fantastic motor racing career to date and to have been a part of British motorsport for many years. The sport is in a fantastic place across the UK at this current time and the BTCC and the overall TOCA package is a major part of that, providing an excellent platform for top-level professional drivers and many bright talents behind the wheel.
“The strength of the series is shown by the thousands of fans that join trackside up and down the country and the millions more that tune in from home on ITV.
“It is going to be a new challenge for me but one I am really excited by. Alan Gow and I have been chatting for a number of years about taking part in the BTCC and I’m delighted that the time is right to finally make this step. At my age, I want to make sure that I am taking on such a prestigious championship while I am still geared up to do so competitively.”
Blundell also hinted at some other exciting projects we can look forward to over the coming months.
“My participation in the series has come about due to a hugely exciting partnership that we are looking forward to announcing in the coming weeks. It has been a long process to get to this point so I do want to thank my Chairman and my fellow directors at MB Partners as well as many friends from across the sport in making this all possible.
“It will be fantastic news for the BTCC, bringing a global brand onto the grid, and myself and the MB Partners team can’t wait to get to work on many of the exciting plans that are already in place.”
The Managing Director of the Trade Price Cars Racing team thinks the signing of Blundell confirms the teams’ ambitions ahead of this year’s campaign.
“We’re absolutely delighted to be able to announce Mark, completing the driver line-up for our debut season in the BTCC. It’s a signing that reflects all the work that has been going on behind the scenes and shows how serious we are about this programme.
“There is no doubt that this is a big deal for us, and we are massively excited to have Mark onboard for the season ahead.”
Team Manager Shaun Hollamby thinks the driver line up they have with Blundell and Jake Hill is very exciting for the year ahead.
“Having concluded a deal early to sign Jake Hill, we’ve been working hard to secure the right driver to complete our driver line-up, and are pleased to have now agreed a deal with Mark Blundell.
“To attract a driver who has been on the podium in F1, and who has won at Le Mans and in IndyCar, is a big coup for us as a team, and we are delighted to bring him on-board.
“With the testing programme we have in place, we’re confident that Mark will be up to speed by the time we get to Brands Hatch, and that he will work well with Jake to give us an exciting driver pairing in the Audis for the year ahead.”
The opening round of the 2019 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship takes place at Brands Hatch on the 6th-7th April.
Header image by Indira Flack
By Jordan Hollands