Derek Palmer says he is honoured to be given the opportunity to make his British Touring Car Championship debut with the burgeoning Infiniti Support Our Paras Racing team in 2015.

Japanese firm Infiniti will be represented in the BTCC next season for the first time as part of an ambitious association with the Support Our Paras charity, one that will see injured members of the Parachute Regiment make up a significant portion of the team.

For 27-year-old Palmer, who has established his experience in saloon and sportscar racing over the years, the chance to step up to BTCC as part of this project fills him with pride.

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"I am very excited about next year, it is a fantastic opportunity and I am very proud to be in the championship with Infiniti and Support Our Paras," he told

"For me, to compete in the British Touring Car Championship, is something that has been an aspiration for me since I started karting. I haven't earned the right to wear the red beret that the elite troops get but I have the honour of driving a car with a red maroon roof next year and I am very proud to represent the regiment and the charity through driving for Infiniti Support Our Paras Racing next year.

"We want to use that to raise awareness of the charity and use the BTCC as a stepping stone so we can help veterans past, present and future in going forward."

Set to drive the Infiniti Q50 saloon in a rear-wheel drive configuration, Palmer says the set-up intentionally places the emphasis on the team, rather than the drivers, adding it was a conscious decision not to go for a recognisable name to lead the driving line-up.

"The initial idea was to have a former Paratrooper drive the car," he added. "Then when we looked more and more into the project, there were a lot of factors that had to come together to make that work. So for us we thought it would be good to get the new team off the ground and then phase that into it. Already plans are being made about how we may need to adapt the car because ultimately that is the goal.

"It is a Paras Racing team and we didn't want a big name driver because we don't want the team to be about a Jason Plato or another 'name', so this is a team focus. We are a new team with new drivers so we learn together and achieve together."

Palmer will be joined by GT racer Richard Hawken in driving the Infiniti Support Our Paras Q50 next season.