Jack Clarke is first driver in Honda's BTCC development programme

The Honda British Touring Car Championship team has launched a driver development programme

Jack Clarke is first driver in Honda's BTCC development programme

BTCC podium finisher Jack Clarke will be the scheme's first member, and will be present with the team at the remaining BTCC meetings this season, as well as taking part in a post-season test.

Clarke will drive the team's Civic Type-R at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, and at other media events as a Honda brand ambassador.

"We have never been the kind of company to rest on our laurels, and as we build for the future, we are keen to invest in young talent to ensure that we continue to be a leading contender in the world's toughest tin-top series for many years to come," said Honda UK managing director Philip Crossman.

"Jack proved last season that he has a lot of potential behind the wheel, and both inside and out of the car, he is the consummate professional and I'm sure will act as a perfect ambassador as Honda enters a new chapter in its rich sporting heritage."

It is understood the programme will be limited to one member at a time and evaluated on an annual basis.

Clarke, whose debut season last year peaked with second in a Motorbase-run Ford Focus at last year's Brands Hatch finale, is without a full-time drive in 2015 after his Ginetta GT4 Supercup campaign did not last beyond the opening round.

"I'm really looking forward to working alongside Matt and Flash, two of the best and most successful drivers in BTCC history, and I'm sure I can learn a great deal from their experience and expertise," he said.

"I hugely enjoyed my maiden season in the BTCC, and although we were sadly unable to return to the grid this year, I always made it clear that my touring car ambitions were far from over."

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