REIGNING Saloons champion Simon Thornton-Norris believes it is unlikely he will contest every round of the series as he returns to Castle Combe this season to defend his title.

The 40-year-old took his Class B Mitsubishi Colt to the outright title last year, claiming victory in six out of the eight rounds in his class, but has his eyes on competing in the GT category in 2017.

Although down to compete in the Saloon championship at Monday’s season opener, Thornton-Norris will also be racing a new Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution in the GT category throughout the season once the car is complete.

The Holt driver said: “I said this at the beginning of last year but I’m not going into the season with the intention of running the Saloons all year, I’m only going to do a few rounds.

“On the Evo I’ve not got the wiring finished yet, I’ve done about 75 per cent, because I can’t commit the time to finishing it.

“I’m going to compete on a race-by-race basis and I’m not going to contest either of those two championships all season.

“I did the Saloons last year and it’s not really a priority, I could bring both cars but it’s very unlikely I would do that.”

William Di Claudio will hope that his Peugeot 106 GTi will allow him to challenge for wins in Class C as well as put him in with a shot of the overall title this season.

The 35-year-old claimed the Class D title in his Citroen Saxo with two rounds of the series remaining last year, allowing him to test his new Class C car in the other races.

“It’s pretty much ready to go, I did a bit of testing and the car seems good,” said Di Claudio, originally from Chippenham.

“I’m really looking forward to the season, I know there’s a couple of drivers that are arriving with new engines so it’s going to be quite close.”

This season at the Castle Combe Circuit will also see the introduction of the new Hot Hatchback Challenge series, which caters for non-turbocharged, front wheel drive saloon cars up to 2.1 litres in capacity.