Honda Yuasa Racing has announced the launch of a new driver development programme, signing former British Touring Car Championship racer Jack Clarke as the first member of the scheme.

Clarke, who finished second during the very last race of 2014 at Brands Hatch, will represent Honda as a brand ambassador as well as being the test driver for the BTCC squad. The former Ford Focus driver will take part in a post season test once the current BTCC season has finished.

Clarke will make his first public appearance for the Japanese manufacturer behind the wheel of the Civic Type R at this weekend's Goodwood Festival of Speed.

"We are delighted to be unveiling the Honda Yuasa Racing Driver Development Programme," said Philip Crossman, Managing Director of Honda UK. "In Jack Clarke, we are confident we have a real touring car star of the future on our hands.

"We have never been the kind of company to rest on our laurels, and as we build for the future, we are keen to invest in young talent to ensure that we continue to be a leading contender in the world's toughest tin-top series for many years to come."

Clarke has already been present in this season's BTCC paddock but budgetary issues has prevented the 27-year old in clinching a full-time race seat.

The former Crabbies Racing driver competed in this year's Ginetta GT4 Supercup championship, but that endeavour only lasted for one round.

"It's a tremendous honour to be joining the Honda Yuasa Racing Driver Development Programme," said Clarke.

"I hugely enjoyed my maiden season in the BTCC, and although we were sadly unable to return to the grid this year, I always made it clear that my touring car ambitions were far from over.

"I'm really looking forward to working alongside Matt and 'Flash', two of the best and most successful drivers in BTCC history, and I'm sure I can learn a great deal from their experience and expertise."



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