Clio Cup racer Simon Belcher has announced plans to make the move up to the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship for the 2014 season.

Belcher, a two-time winner of the Masters Cup, has agreed a deal that will see him compete in a Toyota Avensis run by his own Handy Motorsport team with continued backing from long-term sponsor Karcher.

The 39-year-old's entry into the series will see Handy work alongside Speedworks Motorsport on the development of the Avensis.

"I am absolutely delighted to have made it to the pinnacle of British motorsport in the BTCC, it really is a dream come true," Belcher said. "We have been working on this deal for many months now and I am delighted to be part of the Handy Motorsport and Speedworks team for 2014.

"Due to the huge success of the NGTC regulations in the BTCC, which have created a level playing field between teams of all sizes, it's now or never to make the move into the championship. The entry will be full in 2014 and beyond so it will become increasingly hard going forward to obtain a place on the coveted grid.

"Rather than build our own car in the first year, we decided it would be better to work with an existing team. Speedworks was one of the first teams to run the NGTC cars, so have a heap of experience. They started to show what they're capable of with some fantastic results in the last couple of BTCC events this year, hence the decision to work with Christian's team."

Speedworks boss Christian Dick said he was pleased with the new arrangement for 2014, with Belcher's car to run alongside the two being run in the series by his own team.

"I am delighted Simon and Handy Motorsport have chosen Speedworks as their engineering and support partners for the 2014 BTCC season," he said. "Simon now has plenty of front wheel drive experience and has proven himself in one of the toughest one-make championships there is.

"That experience will serve him well in the BTCC, as we have seen with previous Clio Cup racers that have made the step-up. Handy Motorsport have always turned out a good looking and well prepared car and, with the continuation of Karcher as title sponsor, 2014 looks to be a very exciting year for all involved in this project."



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