THE brother of Formula One World Champion Lewis Hamilton will become the first disabled person to compete in the British Touring Car Championship when he makes his debut at Croft Circuit in June.

Nicolas Hamilton, who has cerebral palsy, is taking part in five rounds of the prestigious motor racing competition during the forthcoming season and will take to the track competitively for the first time in the North-East.

Hamilton, who is racing an Audi S3 with AmD Tuning, said he could not wait to line up alongside the likes of North-East raised Touring Car legend Jason Plato, multi-time winner Matt Neal and reigning champion Colin Turkington.

“I am incredibly excited to be racing in BTCC with AmD Tuning this year. BTCC is the top national motorsport series here in the UK and having the opportunity to race at that level is the biggest challenge I’ve taken on in my career to date,” said Hamilton. “I’m coming into the Championship with a lot to learn and my expectations are to develop as a driver as my programme across the season progresses."

Hamilton, who has competed at the circuit near Darlington before in the Renault Clio Cup, said he hoped to act as a role model to other young people, whether living with a disability or not.

“Whilst I’m aiming to improve as a driver, I’m also hoping to inspire others to strive for their own personal goals, whatever their situation in life. Anyone can ‘Exceed Expectations’ in one way or another and I hope to prove that when I race alongside, not just able-bodied drivers, but the best Touring Car drivers in the UK,” he said.

While competing with the rest of the drivers in the championship, Hamilton is not eligible to score points as he does not hold the necessary licence to do so.

It remains to be seen whether Hamilton's elder brother will be at Croft to see him compete. There is no Grand Prix on June 26 and 27, the weekend BTCC comes to Croft, the next race being the British Grand Prix at Silverstone from July 3 to 5.

The British Touring Car Championship season begins this weekend (April 4/5) at Brands Hatch.