Team Dynamics' Driver Conundrum
A look at the current situation of Team Dynamics in the British Touring Car Championship and a list of drivers the team could be considering.
Following the shock news that Dan Cammish would be leaving Halfords Yuasa Honda ahead of the 2021 season, it has left the team in a rather sticky situation. With many of the top drivers signed up for the upcoming year already, options are few and far between, and with Matt Neal still not confirmed, there is the real possibility that the team could head into 2021 with an all new driver line-up.
Honda’s first driver announcement comes this Friday (5th March 2021), I thought I would take a quick look at their options ahead of the new season.
Matt Neal needs no introduction. Although his form has not been at his menacing standards over the last three seasons, his last victory coming in the 60th anniversary race at Snetterton in 2018, his record cannot be disputed.
A triple champion, Matt has raced in the series for at least one round each year since 1991 and has gone from a small one man independent team, to co-running a factory backed outfit, an amazing achievement in his own right. However, towards the end of last season Matt fid hint at the possibility that it could be his last season, although I feel he would love his last to be in front of fans since they were not allowed trackside in 2020. Only time will tell to see if he is indeed staying on or if 2020 was his final outing.
Although Team Dynamics have remained coy, the first name which was mentioned as a replacement for Cammish was triple champion Gordon Shedden, who took all three of his titles with the team last decade.
A brief spell in the World Touring Car Championship was sadly cut short due to Audi withdrawing from the series, which ensures the incredibly talented Scott is without a drive.
Although his appointment at the team must rely on funds being generated, it would be fantastic to see Shedden back on the grid in 2021.
Now to look at the drivers who have a history with the BTCC who have not yet been confirmed for the 2021 season, the first being Dan Rowbottom, who spent 2019 with Ciceley Motorsport before taking a sabbatical last season due to the pandemic.
Dan impressed many as he improved throughout his time in the championship alongside experienced teammate Adam Morgan. Morgan has since switched to a BMW with Tom Chilton alongside ensuring there was no space left for Rowbottom if he wanted to return with the team.
As well as his talent, Rowbottom has funds behind him, with many knowing him for appearing on TV promoting the brands which support him. A certain fan favourite, it would be great to see Dan back on the grid.
Another driver who is no stranger to the BTCC who has yet to confirm their plans is Nic Hamilton, who has already confirmed that hew will be on the grid this year.
Although it is likely he will remain with Team HARD in the fourth of their new Cupra Leon’s, there is the chance he could end up in a Honda.
I feel that Nic had a real breakthrough year last season in the VW CC, a car that by last season, was on the old side, scoring his first points in the series.
Like Rowbottom, Nic has funds behind him which could aid Team Dynamics this season.
Looking at one driver who is not currently in the championship who could be in line for one of the seats is Matt’s son Henry, who has a fantastic racing record in his own right.
Since making his car debut in 2015 in the Mini Challenge, Henry has gone onto claim back to back Dunlop Touring Car Trophy championships back to back in 2019 and 2020, which shows that his racing pedigree is there.
With rumours circulating that Matt is contemplating retirement, it would be lovely to see his son take over the reigns.
The final driver that I feel Team Dynamics could consider is Mat Jackson, who famously approached Honda while under contract at Motorbase and subsequently lost his drive with the Kent based team.
Mat has not featured in the series since however his pedigree is unquestioned, winning 33 times over the course of his career in the BTCC. 2020 was set to be Mat’s return to the series in a Power Maxed Racing Vauxhall alongside Jason Plato, however due to the pandemic the team opted to take a sabbatical with the hope of returning exactly how they were due to start 2020 in 2021.
However sadly, some of Mat’s personal sponsors were not able to continue supporting him ensuring the deal fell through. It would however be fantastic to see him back in the series, and with only Honda and Team HARD his only options, it may be one of the two which he finds himself in.
For me, these are Team Dynamics five options ahead of the 2021 season.
If you feel I have missed any out then please feel free to get in contact!
Pictures: www.autosport.com, www.touringcars.net, www.touringcartimes.com