Thorney Motorsport has confirmed it will run two cars for the 2012 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship season, having signed Rob Hedley to partner team principal John Thorne.
The team, which has also announced a new partnership with the Daily Mirror
newspaper, is currently in the process of building up its second NGTC-spec Vauxhall Insignia, although the car isn't set to appear on the grid until the fourth round of the new season at Oulton Park.
"We are delighted to have Rob on board as not only has he shown considerable talent in a variety of championships but he's also demonstrated sheer commitment to the drive and the team,” Thorne said. “I've never known a driver work so hard to impress us both on and off track, it's admirable.
“This year we have the first three rounds in the first month so there's no way we will be able to get the second car prepared for then. Apart from anything there are parts we simply won't be able to receive in time and we've no intention of rushing this, but Oulton Park is an achievable target."
Hedley, who has competed in a range of series in the past, admitted it was a dream come true to have secured a place on the grid for the 2012 season.
"I'm obviously delighted,” he said. “It's been a dream of mine as a schoolboy to race in the BTCC and to get a seat with such an established team as Thorney Motorsport running in a full NGTC car is way beyond my expectations.
“They may be new to the BTCC this season but take it from me, if you can run a successful endurance race team, the BTCC is not going to cause them any issues!"
In addition to signing Hedley as its second driver, Thorney Motorsport has also secured the services of former RML technician Matt Upson and Welch Motorsport engineer Ricky Howson to strengthen its technical team.
"Ricky is one of the few people in the BTCC who has extensive experience in the NGTC cars so we are delighted to have him on board” Thorne said. “It means we are not starting the season trying to find set ups that work but more fine tuning what we know can work on the Insignia chassis.
“Matt is also a crucial hire for us, he's had some of the best training at one of the BTCC's best teams so we are confident we can hit the ground running with his experience."