By Mick Palmer
Power Maxed Racing has revealed that Ginetta GT5 and BMW Compact Cup champion Mikey Doble will campaign their third Vauxhall Astra for the 2023 BTCC season.
The 24-year-old Surrey racer finished 2022 with both the Ginetta and BMW crowns and will team up with veteran Árón Taylor-Smith and fellow rookie Andrew Watson as the team enters three machines for the first time.
“To be able to announce I’ll be joining the BTCC for 2023 is an absolute dream come true. I’ve watched the BTCC for more than 20 years and have always had my sights set on one day becoming a touring car driver,” Doble explained.
The step up to the BTCC may not be as much of a stretch for Doble as it will be for other first timers arriving this season. His run in the BMW Compact Cup (where his Father finished third, a couple of places behind in the final standings) could be seen as an being ideal place for preparation for the jump. Known as being one of the more physical forms of club racing, the series features contact comparable to the senior series, and Doble handled that side of the championship with ease. His 2022 offensive saw him take the title despite missing the last two races, and featured a barnstorming Snetterton round where he won all three races.
The paralell Ginetta GT5 campaign wasn’t as clear cut at the end of the year. A late season run saw seven podiums (including two wins) in the final nine races as he took the title on the road at the Donington season finale. However, a yellow flag infringement saw Doble whacked with a time penalty that initially handed the title to Will Jenkins. A post-season appeal saw the penalty overturned and Doble reinstated as the champion. Pairing that experience alongside the lessons learned in the BMW competition leaves him well prepared for the dream move to the BTCC.
“I’d like to thank CarStore Power Maxed Racing for believing in me enough to give me this opportunity,” Doble said. “Joining their line-up gives me great confidence in taking on the challenge of what will be my rookie year in the BTCC. Stepping up into the BTCC is of course a huge jump for anyone, but with the professionalism and experience that PMR possesses, I’ll be aiming to score points and challenge for the Jack Sears Trophy. I can’t wait to begin working with them – it’s going to be a fantastic season and I’m eager to get things underway in April!”
Power Maxed team boss Adam Weaver said: ““We have been used to winters being a dark place for us. Having to get everything agreed again for another year is nerve-wracking, however, this year it’s been incredible. Having the security of a multi-year deal with CarStore has allowed us to go into winter with confidence and put our efforts into car and staff development, as well as building an additional car and securing another TBL in order to welcome yet another great prospect to the BTCC.
“Having helped two drivers win the Jack Sears Trophy,” he continued. “Now we will have two of the team eligible in one year. Mikey is a talented and focused individual, and we can’t wait to realise his dreams with him. We have never been more excited and confident about the season ahead of us and look forward to getting back to winning ways.”