Hugo Valente retires from racing, Daniel Lloyd as a replacement
Hugo Valente surprises everybody today with a decision to retire from professional motorsport. The 24-year-old French racing driver, who drives for Lukoil Craft-Bamb0o Racing in the TCR International Series, has decided to retire before this weekend’s round of the championship at the Salzburgring in Austria.
Valente says he was considering his retirement over the winter but was convinced to stay, thanks to the opportunity given to him by the team to race in the TCR International Series. Due to some personal reasons, it has been hard for the young Frenchman to find the motivation to compete at this level and he has ultimately decided that he would like to step away from the sport, with the team being very supportive of his decision despite losing a big talent.
The team’s CEO Richard Coleman commented: “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. I tried to convince him 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. 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.”
Valente explained: “First of all I’d like to thank Lukoil Craft-Bamboo Racing for giving me this opportunity, everyone in the team does an amazing job and made me feel very much at home in such a short period of time. Unfortunately, the results were not as I expected so I’ve decided to step away from the sport. 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. I’m convinced that it will be the right decision in the long term even though it might give me a little feeling of leaving things ‘unfinished’ at the moment. I’d like to thank everyone I’ve ever worked with throughout my young career, it’s been a great experience overall and I have met some incredibly passionate people. Racing teaches us values from the youngest age and with those values I believe it’s time to put an end to it and move forward.”
Valente is currently placed tenth in the TCR International Season, with two podium results: second and third in Bahrain. His replacement for the rest of the season would be British driver Daniel Lloyd, who was MG/Triple Eight driver in the first three rounds of the British Touring Car Championship but was released few days ago. Lloyd already had an experience with Craft-Bamboo Racing, driving Aston Martin Vantage GT3 for the team in the 2015 GT Asia Series.