Multiple Mini champion Oly Mortimer has been forced to put his British Touring Car Championship plans on hold for this year, and instead the Edinburgh ace will bid for a hat-trick of Scottish titles.
The 26-year-old car technician, who dominated the 2009 British Mini Cooper Championship with the Ellesmere Port-based Formula International team, was being groomed by the outfit to graduate to BTCC in 2011.
But the talented Scot, voted top National Saloon Car Driver in a Motorsport News poll, was suddenly left looking for a new drive after learning Formula International would not continue into 2010 as a result of the financial downturn.
“Of course it was a bit of a shock,” Mortimer admitted, “and coming so late into the year it has been difficult to find an alternative. We looked at the new Abarth 500 series, but again couldn’t find a sponsor.
“So rather than sit the year out, I’ve decided to return to contest the Scottish Mini Cooper Championship and hopefully I can bag my third title.”
Mortimer, who also has two British championships under his belt, will again have his car prepared by David Kerr from the Edinburgh-based Tynecastle Garage.
This year’s championship will be run over eight rounds at Knockhill, Croft and Oulton Park with a two-driver endurance race also scheduled to take place at the Fife circuit.
And Mortimer is also considering entering the Scottish Formula Ford Championship, again with the race assistance of Tynecastle Garage.
“It’s important to my career that I not only keep racing this year, but also winning,” he continued, “especially if I’m to make the jump to BTCC next year. Touring cars remains my goal and hopefully my performances this season will take me closer to achieving that.”