NICOLAS HAMILTON, brother of Lewis, the Formula One driver, has declared his ambition to race in the 2015 British Touring Car Championship.
The news has extra significance because if successful, Hamilton, who has cerebral palsy, a neurological condition that affects muscle control, says he would be the first disabled driver to participate in the series.
Revealing his plans on his blog, the 22-year-old said: “Having raced in the Renault Clio Cup in 2011 and 2013, which supports the BTCC at each round, I have always been impressed by the professionalism and competitive spirit of the series. I would love the challenge of competing at this level. Anyone can exceed expectations and I hope to prove that when I compete against, not just able-bodied drivers, but the best Touring Car drivers in the UK.”
Reacting to his brother’s announcement, Lewis Hamilton tweeted: “Big s/o [shout out] to my brother for inspiring me & many more in his quest to exceed expectations! Proud of u bro!”
Big s/o to my brother @nicolashamilton , for inspiring me & many more in his quest to exceed expectations! Proud of u bro!
— Lewis Hamilton (@LewisHamilton) August 18, 2014
Nicolas Hamilton said he accepted there were many hurdles lying ahead of him. The BTCC is enjoying a boom in popularity with young, talented drivers now regarding it as a serious step in their racing career.
A spokesman for the BTCC said that at this point in the series’ 2014 season, drivers are busy trying to secure seats for 2015.
“There are many drivers talking to many teams. BTCC has rejuvenated itself. We have a full grid of 31 cars in every race, capacity crowds and a waiting list of teams wishing to compete. Mature young drivers who recognise how difficult it is to get into F1, now regard BTCC as a serious alternative and Nic would have every opportunity to make his bid for a seat.”
As with his previous drives, Hamilton’s BTCC car would have to be adapted to accommodate the requirements of his condition.