Former Team RAC man Stephen Jelley will contest the 2010 Porsche Carrera Cup GB with Team Parker Racing after confirming a deal with the Leicester team earlier this week.
Jelley, who also comes from Leicester, has spent two seasons racing in the MSA British Touring Car Championship, but is now switching to the Carrera Cup GB and had his first test session at Oulton Park on Wednesday.
"I ended the BTCC last year on a good note," said Jelley. "But the winter has been really, really difficult and you can only stay where you can afford to be. The Carrera Cup GB is a very good championship and the car is the thing that makes it. It's a great race car and very user friendly. I came from F3 and went into BTCC, so I'm not afraid of different cars."
Jelley enjoyed his first testing laps at Oulton Park: "I didn't know what to expect on the first test, but I was impressed. The power was very good and the car has good low-speed grip. It's going to take a little time to get used to the car. I'm going to have to work with the team and make sure I'm comfortable in the car and doing everything I need to be competitive."
Jelley also reckons that a season in the Carrera Cup could widen his opportunities for 2011 and beyond.
"At the end of the year there will be a whole new world of championships available to me. It gives me another string to my bow in a great championship," he continued. "I've managed to get some good sponsors together in a tough time and the association with Porsche and the hospitality I can offer my guests at race weekends is paramount."
Team boss Stuart Parker meanwhile is delighted with the latest signing for his team: "I think it's fantastic that a guy with two years' touring car experience chooses the Carrera Cup and is happy to come to us as a team," said Parker.
"It says a lot for the strength of the championship this year and 2010 really is going to be the year to win it. Stephen comes with all the right ingredients, including the single-seater background."
Parker believes that the coming season could be the best yet for the Carrera Cup GB and he is confident his trio of drivers – Jelley, Euan Hankey and Glynn Geddie – will be a force to be reckoned with.
"I think there are nine drivers who could go and win the first race," he added. "By no means is this going to be an easy championship.
"It's going to be a fantastic season. We're going into the year with probably the strongest squad we've ever fielded. We've got three drivers who will all be in contention and they will push themselves on."