(Photo from: www.btcc.net)
As the 2017 British Touring Car Championship season looms ever closer, teams, drivers and mechanics will all be preparing themselves for a new season with their tried and tested routines however there are some drivers who enter their first season into the series. Four currently confirmed rookies will be competing in the BTCC for the first time in 2017 and are eligible for the Jack Sears Trophy, where the rookie with the most points at the end of the season wins the prestigious accolade.
All four drivers have racing pedigree behind them and have reached the BTCC in a variety of ways. In no particular order let us start with Senna Proctor.
Son of former BTCC driver, Mark Proctor, Senna was confirmed for the 2017 in December last year when Power Maxed Racing announced that the Proctor would step up from the Renault Clio Cup into one of the team’s two manufacture backed Vauxhall Astras, and in doing so, he became one of the youngest manufacture backed rookies in BTCC history.
Nicknamed “six-foot Senna” due to his towering height at such a young age, the 18 year-old made his debut on the TOCA package in the Ginetta Junior Championship in 2014 where he finished a very respectable twelfth with a single podium to his name.
However 2015 Proctor really showed everyone what he was capable of as a hugely consistent season saw him only miss out on the championship following a court appeal in which he tied on points and missed out on the number of wins in which he had achieved. It was a blow for Proctor who on the day celebrated with huge emotion however he handled the situation expertly.
For 2016 Proctor graduated to the Renault Clio Cup, with his performances catching the eye of leading BTCC outfit Team BMR who signed him up to their junior driver scheme, with former drivers including Ashley Sutton. In a series known to take years to perfect Proctor shone from the start with Team Pyro and went onto eighth in the series and a best finish of third at Oulton Park and Snetterton.
Speaking late last year Senna admitted that the move up to the premier series in the UK has probably happened a year earlier than planned but when such opportunities arise, they are very hard to turn down. He went onto say “I know I will have to work very hard to gain the respect of my fellow competitors, some of whom are the best touring car drivers in the world.”
Power Maxed Racing Team Principal Adam Weaver continued by saying, “He caught my attention back in 2015 in Ginetta Juniors. I was impressed by how he excelled against very tough competition, and it’s great to be helping him to realise both his dream and his potential of racing in the BTCC.”
It ensures that Proctor goes up against Luke Davenport, Ant Whorton-Eales and Will Burns for the Jack Sears Trophy.