David Leslie is returning to the British Touring Car Championship to spearhead the attack of Team Petronas Syntium Proton (Team PSP). The experienced Scot will race one of two Team PSP Impians in 2002, the Malaysian manufacturer's debut season in Britain's premier series.
The Banbury, Oxfordshire-based ace -- who finished runner-up in 1999 and helped Nissan win the coveted Manufacturers' crown in '98 and '99 -- will also play a major role in the development of the Impian as Team PSP attempts to gain a foothold in this highly competitive championship. Leslie's team-mate will be announced in due course.
David Wong, Team PSP Principal, says: "David is an ideal choice for us as a new team in the BTCC. He is one of the most experienced touring car drivers in Britain and knows what is needed to win races. And his engineering knowledge as a driver will be invaluable to the programme. We are very excited and pleased that he has agreed to join us."
Leslie says: "This is a fantastic opportunity. 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. It was about this time of year that I joined the Nissan project when that first came to Britain -- and look what happened there!"
The 48-year-old last competed in the BTCC in 2000, in a one-off meeting for Honda at Thruxton. He also raced that year in the European Touring Car Championship, again with Honda, and this season drove in the Speedvision World Challenge in America. The design and build of the BTCC Impian has been underway since July at the Norfolk base of Puresports Engineering Limited (PSE), run by Ian Doble who will also head up the race team. Engine tuner Mountune is developing the car's two-litre powerplants.
Wong adds: "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, which we are all very much looking forward to."
1999 - BTCC Nissan, Runner Up
1998 - BTCC Nissan
1997 - BTCC Nissan Primera RML prepared.
1996 - BTCC with Honda Accord, 4th overall.
1995 - BTCC with MSD Honda Accord.
1994 - BTCC in a Mazda but only completed half a season due to budget problems.
1993 - BTCC in a Vauxhall Cavalier for Ecurie Ecosse, 8th overall.
1992 - BTCC in a Vauxhall Cavalier for Ecurie Ecosse, 7th overall.
1991 - Contested 2 rounds of BTCC in a BMW.
1989-90 - World Sports car Series with Aston Martin.
1988 - Le Mans with Mazda and 2nd in the Thundersaloons Championship.
1987 - 2nd in the World Sports car Championship, C2 Class (Ecosse).
1980 - Contested the British Formula Atlantic Series.
Followed by a couple of seasons in Formula 3.
1979 - Shellsport Martini Championship, 1st.
1978 - BARC Formula Ford Championship, 1st.
Scottish Karting champion 5 times, 1st title in 1969.