Halstead set for BTCC debut at Croft due to Parfitt’s ‘ongoing back problem’

Nick Halstead will make his debut into the British Touring Car Championship at Croft in EXCELR8 Trade Price Cars’ Hyundai i30 N.

Rick Parfitt Jr. says he has been experiencing ongoing back problems since Knockhill.

Therefore, he will take on advice from a doctor to miss Rounds 19-21 at Croft Circuit.

Halstead, the 49-year-old living in Hampshire, will make his cameo appearance on 18-19 September.

“Since I started racing in 2017, competing in the British Touring Car Championship has been an ambition,” he said.

“That only grew once I was on the TOCA package in the Ginetta Supercup and I could really get a sense of the scale of the series and the passion of the fans.

“I’m thrilled to be able to tick that box at Croft thanks to EXCELR8 Motorsport, Rick [Parfitt] and Ascential (who are sponsoring his BTCC debut pursuit).

“Although most of my racing has been in rear-wheel-drive GT cars, I’ve been competitive in front-wheel-drive racing before and I’m excited to experience the UK’s top touring car series in the Hyundai.”

His most recent touring car experience, in 2019, involved a part-time campaign in TCR UK where he finished fourth in the championship.

Other outings include the Ginetta GT4 Supercup, a TOCA supporter-series, and the British GT Championship in Fox Motorsport’s McLaren 570 GT4.

“Since Knockhill, my back has been getting worse,” said Parfitt.

“And although I was able to compete at Thruxton, I’ve been advised by my doctor that the best course of action is to rest it.

“I’m gutted to miss Croft as it’s a circuit I have never competed at before, but I’m excited that Nick – who is a good friend – is able to come in and take my place.”

Parfitt targets a recovery for the following weekend at Silverstone but expresses fulfillment for Halstead pursuing a maiden BTCC weekend.

For now, the debutant will join EXCELR8 TPC teammates Tom Ingram and Jack Butel for the seventh event on the 2021 calendar.