SWINDON-BASED HMS Racing will sit out the 2019 British Touring Car Championships season following five years of racing in the sport’s top tier, although plans for a return in 2020 are already under way.

HMS Racing have confirmed ‘several’ factors have denied the team a chance to compete in next season’s competitions after missing the deadline to register, which passed on Friday, November 30.

Taking the long-term interests of the team into account, HMS Racing have decided to take a step back next season.

And team principal Simon Belcher couldn’t hide his disappointment regarding the news, although he assured supporters that they remain committed to a return.

He said: “Very unfortunately, we have had hurdles placed in front of us which we simply can’t overcome in the timeframe required to meet the registration deadline.

“Rest assured, we will do everything in our power to overcome this setback to our long-term BTCC plans and have every intention to return for 2020.

“We remain totally committed to the BTCC. It is the best championship in the UK and is where we want to be, and where we should be.

“We’ve proven over the past couple of years that we have the ability to be genuine challengers.”