The British Touring Car Championship is the pinnacle of the long hard road that hundreds of drivers build their careers off of, and thousands more wish they could merge into.
With the announcement of Team HARD's development drivers, Ginetta scholarship winner Maurice Henry and Team HARD scholarship winner Daryl DeLeon, what is the future of the BTCC looking like before the 2023 season kicks off at the end of April?
Maurice Henry has had a rapid rise to success after making history in 2021 by becoming the first driver to share the Ginetta Junior Scholarship win with another driver, Robert de Haan.
Henry shone through in the Ginetta junior series throughout the 2022 season, with his standout drive being at Knockhill where he stood atop the podium, a race winner.
The ever ambitious Henry has made a big step for the 2023 season, with Team HARD signing him up as a development driver for their BTCC squad as well as competing in the British Endurance Championship (BEC) with an older Audi S3 BTCC chassis.
“I’m excited to be racing with Daryl and the Audi S3 BTCC car this season. I’ve known Daryl for a while now and I’m really looking forward to being his teammate this year, I feel we can learn a lot from each other. The BEC is a tough championship, and we’re ready to take on the challenge.”
“It’s an honour to be the winner of the team’s scholarship programme and to be racing for Team HARD. Racing this year. Driving the Audi S3 BTCC car is going to be fantastic for our development this season. We’ve been working hard with the team, and we’re ready to race.”
DeLeon had one of the most memorable 2022 campaigns of any UK National driver, not many seventeen year olds can say they hold a world title in just their first year competing in cars.
The young man from Cambourne competed against, and embarrassed, much more experienced and proven drivers to not only be crowned the national Radical champion, but the World Champion in 2022 as well.
The 2022 season saw him compete for Valour Racing in the GB4 championship in the united Kingdom, picking up a hard earned podium at the infamous Donington Park.
2023 brings a new challenge, with DeLeon moving over to the BEC partnering Maurice Henry.
Could we see both Henry and DeLeon in the BTCC in the not too distant future? Their seemingly endless bags of talent and unmatched progression seem to indicate just that.
Until then, The British Endurance Championships' lights go out on the 25th of March at the home of British Motorsport, Silverstone.