Trade Price Cars Racing has confirmed that former F1 driver Mark Blundell will complete its British Touring Car Championship line-up in 2019, almost 20 years after the end of his single-seater career.
Blundell will line up alongside Jake Hill in one of the Essex-based team’s Audi S3 Saloon cars. It will mark Blundell’s competitive touring car début.
Blundell has a wealth of motorsport experience, having made more than 60 race starts during his F1 career between 1991 and 1995.
He then moved into the American CART series in 1996, where he remained until 2000, claiming three victories during the 1997 season.
Blundell also has a strong record in the Le Mans 24 hours race, where he secured outright victory in 1992 as part of the factory Peugeot squad. He also claimed second overall in 2003 with Bentley.
In recent years Blundell has been involved in his sports agency business MB Partners, where he works with reigning DTM champion Gary Paffett and Toyota sportscar racer Mike Conway amongst others.
Blundell also has experience in British GT, FIA GT and Grand-Am, as well as working in various roles within the media side of the sport.
“It is great to be finally joining the BTCC,” said Blundell. “There is no doubting that it is the premier form of domestic motorsport in the UK which will be a new challenge for me, and one I am hugely excited about.
“The enthusiasm of Shaun and Dan has been great to see, and I’m looking forward to contributing to a successful season ahead for everyone in the team.”
Trade Price Cars Managing Director Dan Kirby believes that signing Blundell will be a statement of intent of the new team in 2019.
“We’re absolutely delighted to be able to announce the signing of Mark to complete the driver line-up for our debut season in the BTCC.
“It’s a signing that reflects all the work that has been going on behind the scenes, and shows how serious we are about this programme.
“There is no doubt that this is a big deal for us, and we are massively excited to have Mark onboard for the season ahead.”
Team Principal Shaun Hollamby called the signing a ‘big coup’ despite Blundell’s lack of prior touring car experience.
“Having concluded a deal early to sign Jake Hill, we’ve been working hard to secure the right driver to complete our driver line-up, and are pleased to have now agreed a deal with Mark Blundell.
“To attract a driver who has been on the podium in F1, and who has won at Le Mans and in Indy Cars, is a big coup for us as a team, and we are delighted to bring him onboard.
“With the testing programme we have in place, we’re confident that Mark will be up to speed by the time we get to Brands Hatch, and that he will work well with Jake to give us an exciting driver pairing in the Audis for the year ahead.”