VX Racing, has announced today the signing of a third driver for its assault on the 2004 British Touring Car Championship, with 2003 BTCC production champion, Luke Hines joining the triple championship-winning team. Hines will drive alongside current BTCC champion, Yvan Muller, and his team mate James Thompson.

Graduating from the production class for 2004, Hines will be behind the wheel of the Vauxhall tourer for the first time in January testing sessions. Hines, 21, has quickly risen through the motorsport ranks, starting in karts at nine years old and moving on to single seaters in 2000 before opting for saloon cars to progress in his motorsport career.

"Signing for Vauxhall is the highlight of my career for sure," says Hines. "Although I know that I still have a great deal to learn, I will be giving it my all to challenge for championship success with my two highly respected and successful team mates. I am sure that what I might lack in experience, I compensate for in enthusiasm, and I am looking forward to taking the fight to James and Yvan over the coming season."

Kevin Wale, Managing Director, Vauxhall Motors, adds, "Vauxhall continues to support young, talented drivers and this decision underlines the commitment of the company. Luke demonstrated his racing talent this year, winning the production class title in only his first BTCC season, and we hope he will play an important role in VX Racing, as we set out to claim more victories in '04. Once again, Vauxhall is setting new records, with VX Racing heading into the new season with two BTCC reigning champions in the team for the first time in BTCC history."

Hines made a strong impression in his debut season of touring car racing, with numerous wins and podium finishes for Barwell Motorsport, and he secured the production class championship at Donington Park, with two rounds left of the series, while VX Racing is aiming to become BTCC champions for a record fourth consecutive year in 2004. The decision on which Vauxhall model will be used in next year's championship has yet to be announced.

-vxr-