Michael Doyle says he is still hopeful of lining up on the grid at some point during the 2009 HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship, although the popular Scot is unlikely to manage a full-season during the campaign ahead.

Despite running on a shoe-string budget, Doyle enjoyed a solid debut with the BTC-spec Honda Civic run by his small family team in 2008 and finished the season strongly with impressive outings at Silverstone and Brands Hatch.

His performance at Silverstone in particular drew plaudits from a number of people in the paddock, as Doyle took the fight to the S2000 Civics of Team Halfords pairing Tom Chilton and Gordon Shedden in wet conditions at the Northamptonshire circuit.

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However, the current economic climate has made the search for sponsorship a difficult one during the winter which has left Doyle facing the prospect of a season watching from the sidelines, although he admitted that he was still hopeful of running a part-programme during the year ahead.

"Last year, we showed that we deserved to be in the BTCC on merit and we really improved during the season," he said. "At Silverstone and Brands Hatch in particular, we showed our potential even though we were a small team and were running an older car.

"It is difficult for everyone at the moment to find sponsorship, but there are people out there who will see that it is beneficial to be involved in the BTCC - it's just a case of finding those people! We are still aiming to get out at some point during the season, even if its just as a one-off outing at Knockhill for the Scottish fans. However, we might well be there for the second round and run the rest for the rest of the year as you don't know what's going to happen and we are still working on it.

"The thing I have to remember though is that I'm only 21, so if the worst happened and I did have to take year out, then it's not the end of the world as I have time on side. I could look at other options like GT racing but, while it would be great to go out there in something like a Ferrari, there is nothing that would beat the BTCC."