Reigning Jack Sears Trophy Champion Lea Wood has confirmed he will compete in the 2014 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship this season driving an NGTC Toyota Avensis under the newly-formed Houseman Racing banner.
Wood was the dominant force in the separate category for S2000 specification cars last season, picking up 18 victories from 30 races in his Vauxhall Vectra.
For 2014, Wood will drive a newly-built Toyota Avensis with backing from Houseman Branding, alongside new sponsor Morris Lubricants, Wheelheaven, Central Group and S&P.
Praising the support he has received from sponsors – with Houseman coming in to back the existing family-run structure of the team -, as well as the exposure granted by his Jack Sears Trophy win, Wood is delighted to be on the grid again in 2014.
“We've worked so hard to make this happen over the winter and I'm delighted to be able to confirm our involvement in the BTCC. Without the Jack Sears Trophy last year and the increased exposure we gained from that then this would not have been possible, but more importantly it simply wouldn't have happened without the continued support from Houseman.
“Our existing family run team, JWT Performance, has joined hands with Rob Houseman, the CEO of The Houseman Group, which is fantastic. We are also extremely proud to welcome Morris Lubricants on board for 2014. Morris is a major player in the oil industry in the supply of performance lubricants and the BTCC is a superb platform to promote this.
“There's going to be a learning curve for sure, as the NGTC car will be new to us, but we'll be trying to get up to speed as quickly as possible. It won't be easy of course as the championship is looking extremely competitive – we'll be targeting points in the first instance and then really looking to build on some solid results.
“It's just a dream to be involved in the BTCC at a time when the championship is going from strength-to-strength and we're all really looking forward to the challenge.”
With the S2000 cars phased out for 2014, the Jack Sears Trophy will be awarded to the Independent driver who makes up the most positions during a race from their starting spot. It means Wood has the chance to potentially defend his title.