SWINDON-BASED HMS Racing confirmed this week that they will be absent from the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) for a second consecutive season.

HMS Racing missed the 2019 season after a primary sponsor contract ended at the culmination of the previous campaign while no suitable replacement was able to be found for the following year.

Driver Alex Day and his team therefore competed in the Dunlop Touring Car Trophy in their Audi A4 with the hopes of returning to the elite level of touring car racing in the subsequent campaign.

With participation in the BTCC not possible, the licence required to compete was loaned by HMS to another team to run Nic Hamilton, younger brother of six-time FIA Formula One World Champion Lewis.

Unfortunately, Hamilton withdrew from the BTCC prior to the end of the season.

As a result, and with strict conditions surrounding touring car licences and their use, huge financial implications were placed upon HMS.

Team principal Simon Belcher therefore had no other option than to sell the licence.

HMS, who say they are ready to race in the BTCC in their Alfa Romeo Giulietta should a title sponsor be found, still has a desire to return to the elite level as soon as it can.

However, with its licence now relinquished – and a difficult climate surrounding new sponsorship – it is currently unknown when the team will reappear in the UK’s premier touring car category.

Team principal Simon Belcher said: “Being in the BTCC is absolutely where HMS wants to be and where we believe the team should be.

“We’ve more than confirmed our ability in the championship and we’re all working hard to make a return a reality in the near future.

“Due to the fact we had to sell our licence though, and with the current Brexit uncertainty creating additional issues around the raising of the necessary sponsorship, it is unlikely our BTCC return will be imminent.

“The full infrastructure of the team is still in place and one of the newest cars on the grid, our Alfa Romeo, is sitting ready to race should a suitable commercial partner be found.

“It is a great shame we can’t return in 2020 as we’d planned to, but with the financial implication which followed after Nic [Hamilton] was unable to fulfil his commitment to the BTCC, we had to either lose our licence or sell it.”

HMS Racing confirmed it will be working on variety of motorsport projects for a busy 2020 in the meantime.