Leslie returns to BTCC with Proton

Tin top stalwart David Leslie is to return to the British Touring Car Championship next year with the all-new Proton team

Leslie returns to BTCC with Proton

The Scot, who was runner-up in the drivers' championship in 1999 to Nissan team mate Laurent Aiello, has not raced in Britain's premier saloon series since a one-off race with Honda last year, but is to lead next year's attack for the Malaysian manufacturer.

"This is a fantastic opportunity," said Leslie. "It's great to be back in the BTCC full time, but even better to be able to join a project from the start. By doing that you have a good chance of making it work as you know what pitfalls to avoid along the way."

Proton will attempt to take on the all-conquering Vauxhall Astras next year with a brace of Impians built by Norfolk-based firm Puresports Engineering. Leslie's team mate is not expected to be announced until the New Year.

Team boss David Wong is optimistic that his Petronas-backed outfit can take advantage of Leslie's experience to hit the ground running next year.

"David is an ideal choice for us as a new team in the BTCC," said Wong. "He is one of the most experienced touring car drivers in Britain and knows what is needed to win races. There has been a lot of speculation surrounding the team and its driver line-up. Now David has joined us, we can get on and start preparing for the new season."

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