Tockwith Motorsport will play no further part in the 2017 European Le Mans Series after team principal Simon Moore and the Hanson family agreed to part ways.
The Hanson family is set to move the Asian Le Mans Series title-winning Ligier JS P3 and the team’s 2017 ELMS, Le Mans 24 Hours and WEC contesting Ligier JS P217 Gibson from Tockwith’s Yorkshire base to Ligier in France, where a test programme will be run for Phil Hanson.
There are currently no plans for the cars to race for the remainder of the 2017 season.
The catalyst for the cessation of the programme appears, bizarrely, to have been the filming at Tockwith’s premises of a promotional video for ex-X-Factor contestant ‘Honey G’ which featured the Hansons’ car without their consent.
Despite these circumstances, there is no animosity between the two parties – the Hansons considering it to have been an uncharacteristic error of judgement on Tockwith’s part. They’ll still be rooting for TMS pairing of Eddie Moore and Marmaduke Hall, who currently lead the Britcar Sprint Championship.
The team saw double title-winning success in 2016 with the Britcar title for Hansen and Nigel Moore in the Audi R8 LMS that features in the video, followed by the Asian Le Mans Series LMP3 title over the winter that saw the team earn a place on the Le Mans 24 Hours grid this year.
Between the two title-winning efforts the team stepped up to the Michelin Le Mans Cup with the Audi before switching mid-season to the ELMS with the Ligier JSP3.
The team announced its step up to LMP2 for the current season but have struggled to find pace and reliability with the Ligier JS P217 this season but finishing ninth on its Le Mans debut.
“Due to a non-motorsport related issue in which TMS allowed a music video to be filmed at Tockwith, and included coverage of one of the cars owned by the Hanson family without their permission, driver Phil Hanson has decided to step away from the team that he has co-driven alongside Nigel Moore for the past two years.
“It has been a difficult decision, but something we felt necessary under the circumstances and I will now have the opportunity to move in a new direction with regards to my motorsport career,” said Dick Hanson. “I would like to thank the team for all their hard work and everything we have achieved together.”
Tockwith Motorsport team principal Simon Moore said: “Phil and Nigel have been a strong driver pairing over recent years and we’re proud of their achievements, but things regularly move on in motor racing and it’s now a time for change for all concerned. We have had an excellent and exciting time with Phil and all of us here at TMS wish him the very best for the future.”
Tockwith Motorsport is involved in running cars in other series and will still continue to campaign a Ginetta G50 in the Dunlop Britcar Endurance Championship, in which it is currently leading the sprint championship.