Jack Mitchell will take over the CUPRA Leon at Team HARD previously raced by Glynn Geddie when the British Touring Car Championship resumes at Oulton Park next month.
Mitchell, the 2018 British GT Championship GT4 champion, will make his BTCC début at the fourth event of the 2021 season at Oulton Park in just over a week’s time.
Geddie has given up his drive with the team due to personal reasons, including becoming a father for the first time.
Teaming up with Jack Goff in one of Team HARD’s four new CUPRA cars, Mitchell will make his first race start in the championship in Cheshire, although it will not be his first taste of BTCC machinery.
The 23-year-old previously took part in a BTCC test with Motorbase Performance back in 2014, off the back of winning the Ginetta Junior Championship that season.
He then raced in the Renault UK Clio Cup in 2015, the year that Ash Sutton lifted the title, finishing seventh overall in the drivers’ standings, before moving into the British GT Championship in 2016. The same year he also contested the final events of the Ginetta GT4 Supercup on the BTCC support bill.
Mitchell continued in British GT for another two years after his 2018 GT4 success, and last year he was seventh overall in the drivers’ championship, claiming one race win at Snetterton.
More recently he took part in the last round of the MINI Challenge at Brands Hatch, re-joining the TOCA paddock after a four-year hiatus.
“I’m really looking forward to joining Team HARD. Racing in the British Touring Car Championship,” said Mitchell, who will get behind the wheel at Snetterton ahead of the race at Oulton Park.
“It’s a series that I have grown up watching and racing on the same weekend in some support packages, so to call myself a British Touring Car driver from next weekend is something I am very proud of.
“I’ve been following the team for the last couple of seasons, and they have been making great progress, especially with the new car this year which makes me very excited. I’m really keen and looking forward to getting in the car at Oulton Park.
“It’s going to be a steep learning curve to get used to the car as the race craft itself is something completely different to what I’m used to in GT racing, but I have the right team around me to help me get up to speed.
“The goal is to help the team get some really strong points finishes and just learn as much as I can. I’m hungry and ready for the fight!”
Team HARD Managing Director Tony Gilham is pleased to have found a suitable replacement driver for the outgoing Geddie.
“I’m glad to finally get this situation sorted and I couldn’t think of anyone more suitable than Jack,” said Gilham. “He has been a consistent performer for his entire career to date and the stats don’t lie, he is a winner.
“Obviously, he is lacking experience in BTCC machinery, but we will be doing our upmost to get Jack settled and up to speed before the next meeting at Oulton Park.
“It’s actually quite fortuitous that Jack competed in the latest round of the Mini Challenge UK, that will have proved as a good platform for him as he switches back to front wheel-drive machinery.
“We’ve taken our time over this decision, and we won’t shy away from the fact that we have spoken to a number of drivers before coming to this decision to take on Jack.
“The long-term opportunity we have together is huge and I’m delighted to have him onboard. We have a team dynamic at the moment and Jack will slot in seamlessly, I can’t wait for the season to resume!”