Houseman Racing’s Lea Wood will move into a managerial position ahead of the 2015 British Touring Car Championship season as the team look to build on their 2014 campaign.
The 2013 Jack Sears Trophy champion, 30, scored 10 points last season with a number of impressive displays in the squad’s Toyota Avensis.
Wood’s move upstairs is part of a reshuffle at the team, who are aiming to build on their first campaign with an NGTC car, with Wood taking the place of his brother Greg alongside Team Principal Rob Houseman on the pit wall.
Wood’s decision to step back from the driver’s seat is expected to be a temporary one, but the Herefordshire-based man nevertheless expressed his excitement at taking on a new role within the team, despite that meaning that he will miss out on the 2015 season.
“The BTCC is an extremely competitive and professional championship and the teams involved have the pinnacle of motor racing management and engineers,” he said. “Our team needed more structure and I’ve taken the tough decision to relinquish my drive to better the team’s potential. We have been approached by several drivers looking at taking my seat and this prompted our team management and myself to look at the achievable potential by taking this different route.
“I feel that being a current BTCC driver will aid the communication chain between driver and engineer, as I know the car’s characteristics better than anyone. Although I’m sad not to be driving this year, I’m very excited at my new role within Houseman Racing.”
Houseman, meanwhile, praised Wood for the decision he made, and was confident that he would prove to be a valuable asset in the garage.
“The mature decision made by Lea has helped us to keep continuity in the management structure of the team without outsourcing,” he said. “We know this is a temporary role as Lea’s career is far from over as a driver and his help this year will be invaluable, but we know his future plans are to be back in the driver’s seat so we need to utilise his skills whilst we have the luxury of them.”
No driver has yet be signed to the team for 2015, although the team are speaking to a number of potential replacements.