Bird's flying to Croft for BTCC: Stobart Honda BSB team boss Paul Bird is to test a touring car next week and could even line up on the grid at Croft next month, Burning Rubber can exclusively reveal today.
The defending National Rally champ has fixed up two tests with an undisclosed team with a view to race as a satellite entry in a handful of rounds this summer.
But ever the perfectionist, Birdy says he will not make the move to tarmac racing unless he is on the pace in testing.
"I've been thinking about it for a while, and I've done well in the rallying but fancy a change now," he admitted to me this week.
"I've got two tests in the coming weeks and if I am fast enough, I'll definitely give it a go.
"I'm not going to go out there and race unless I am confident I can run with the rest of them. If I complete the tests and I'm not fast enough, I won't make the move, it's as simple as that."
And although he is unable to say which team he is working with, Team Halfords Honda looks the most likely, bearing in mind the link with the Japanese manufacturer he has already established through his superbike team.
Team Halfords is run by defending BTCC champ Matt Neal's father Steve, and Matt himself is a lifelong fan of superbikes, adding more fuel to speculation that Birdy could be about to take flight in one of the outfit's stunning Honda Integras.
The Penrith poultry magnate is no stranger to success. As well as his rallying title, his superbike team has become established as one of the best in the British paddock, having taken the championship in 2003 with Shakey Byrne, and Birdy himself is respected by many for ploughing his own money into the sport.
"If the BTCC drive comes off, it will be a paid for drive, the days of touring car drivers being well paid are long gone. But it is something I'm very keen to do."
A spokesman from the BTCC told Burning Rubber that Birdy would be very welcome. "This comes as news to us, but we'd love to have someone like Paul on the grid. We wish him the best of luck and hope to see him out amongst our cars very soon."
And superbike fans have no need to worry, he says he will not be packing in the bikes.
Tornado hits region
There's just two weeks to go until this year's British leg of MotoGP, and with it the annual visit from Texas Tornado Colin Edwards.
The double World Superbike champ, who is now team-mate to Valentino Rossi in the premier motorcycling series in the world, is making his usual visit to Club Amadeus in Northallerton on Tuesday June 27, before he lines up on the grid at Donington Park the following Sunday.
This year he will be joined by young star Casey Stoner plus superbike favourites Michael Rutter and John McGuinness as well as HRC's Sporting Manager Chris Herring, Sky MotoGP commentator Julian Ryder and British Superbike presenter Keith Huewen.
As ever, the whole show will be hosted by BSB pitlane presenter, Larry "Scoop" Carter.
The event will raise money to further the careers of racers from the area, including Dan Linfoot from Knaresborough, who is now competing in the 250cc World Championship. Dan will also be attending the event.
Doors open at 7pm and the show starts at 8pm. Admission on the door is £8, and £5 for NYRRSC members. Visit www.nyrrsc.net for updates.