Aron Taylor-Smith has announced he will not return to the British Touring Car Championship for the 2018 season 'to pursue a new chapter in his career'.

The 28-year old joined the series late in 2011 with Triple Eight Racing and returned to the BTCC for a full-time drive with Motorbase Performance during the 2012 campaign.

Taylor-Smith secured a total of four victories during his six-year stint in the series, whilst taking an overall best championship finish of eighth in the standings with Motorbase during the 2012 season.

The Irishman's last BTCC victory came with Team BKR in the Volkswagen CC at Rockingham 2016 before switching to the factory MG outfit for what turned out to be a frustrating 2017 season for the former race winner.

Having made his mark in the BTCC, Taylor-Smith has now set sights on pursuing a career in GT racing but hasn't ruled out returning back to the BTCC in the future.

"Firstly, I just want to thank Warren and Vicki Scott and of course Nico Ferrari for everything that they have done for me since joining the team in 2014," said Taylor-Smith.

"I have lived, raced and worked full time at BMR for the last 4 years and have loved being a part of the wider BMR family but now the time has come for me to move on.

"The BTCC is a brilliant championship. Alan Gow and TOCA do an exceptional job in putting together the series, but now after six seasons, I want to pursue a new chapter in my motorsport career.

"I will certainly miss a lot about the championship, I’ve made friends for life in the BTCC paddock and loved so much of my experience. It will be sad to leave but I feel this is the right decision for me. I would never rule out a return to the BTCC but for now, my focus is on exploring different avenues of motorsport.

"The thought of embarking on a new chapter of my motorsport career in the form of GT's really excites me. I want to travel more and embark on new challenges. I’ve spent my whole life aiming for a career in the BTCC and for the first time ever my priorities have shifted. It’s a really exciting time.

"While my plans are not concrete yet I am currently exploring a few extremely exciting GT opportunities and I can't wait to see what 2018 brings!"



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