Ex-Lada WTCC driver Valente retires from racing

Former Lada WTCC works driver Hugo Valente has retired from motorsport aged 24, calling time on his career midway through his rookie campaign in the TCR International Series.

Ex-Lada WTCC driver Valente retires from racing
Hugo Valente, LADA Sport Rosneft, Lada Vesta
Hugo Valente, LADA Sport Rosneft, Lada Vesta
Hugo Valente, Lukoil Craft-Bamboo Racing, SEAT León TCR
Hugo Valente, Lukoil Craft-Bamboo Racing, SEAT León TCR
Hugo Valente, Lukoil Craft-Bamboo Racing, SEAT León TCR
Hugo Valente, Lukoil Craft-Bamboo Racing, SEAT León TCR

Valente had raced in the WTCC full-time since 2013 and had a Lada factory seat last year, but left the category at the end of the season to join Craft-Bamboo in the rival touring car series TCR.

He has taken two podium finishes in the first part of 2017, but said he had decided to stop racing partly for family reasons.

"Unfortunately, the results were not as I expected so I've decided to step away from the sport," said Valente.

"I have my own family to take care of now, my little girl is nine months old and nothing makes me happier than being with her.

"I want to give her the same life I've been given from my parents and I know that's nearly impossible to do as a racing driver.

"It's been a difficult decision and not taken lightly but I'm ready to turn the page and start doing something new."

Craft-Bamboo team principal Richard Coleman said he had tried to persuade Valente to at least complete the current campaign.

"We are disappointed to be losing Hugo at this stage of the season, as he is one of the most naturally talented drivers I have ever had the pleasure of working with," Coleman said.

"I tried to convince Hugo to stay until the end of the season but his mind was made up, and I think once you have lost your motivation it is very hard to compete at this level."

The vacant Craft-Bamboo seat has gone to Daniel Lloyd, who had split with the MG BTCC works outfit earlier this week.

Coleman said: "I am delighted that Daniel Lloyd was on the market at the right time and I am sure that he will be able to win races this year and help the team achieve their goals."

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