The 37-year-old was set to pilot one of three BTC Racing Honda Civic Type FK8s this season alongside Josh Cook and new recruit Jade Edwards.
Upon moving to the Brackley squad last season after a challenging season with Team Hard in 2019, Crees won the Jack Sears Trophy for drivers without an outright BTCC podium.
However, just a week before the BTCC season opener at Thruxton (8-9 May), the team revealed it will be parting ways with Crees. The team statement didn’t clarify the reasons for the split, but said Crees was departing “on amicable terms”.
Crees had driven for the squad in last week’s media day test at Silverstone, running a BTC Racing livery instead of his familiar Clever Baggers colours. The Kent driver ended the test – topped by returning three-time champion Gordon Shedden – an encouraging third fastest overall.
The statement added that the team will announce a replacement “in the next few days, prior to Thruxton”.
“On behalf of everyone at BTC Racing, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Michael for his participation with the team in the British Touring Car Championship,” said Steve Dudman, BTC Racing Owner and Team Principal.
“It’s a shame the partnership isn’t continuing, but we wish him well in his future endeavours.”
Michael Crees, BTC Racing Honda Civic Type R
Photo by: JEP / Motorsport Images
Crees’ future in the category is unknown, with the grid already confirmed for the championship’s Thruxton curtain raiser.
The 2018 Ginetta GT4 Supercup Am class champion, Crees was a regular top 15 contender in 2020 and finished 13 of the 27 races in the points. His best result came with a ninth place finish in the second race at Thruxton.
A 29-car grid is expected to line up at Thruxton for what is a delayed start to the championship due to the COVID-19 pandemic, series organiser TOCA opting in January to postpone the season-opener for five weeks to increase the likelihood of fans attending meetings.
After a reduced 27-race calendar last season, championship organisers are anticipating a full 30-race series this season.
2021 BTCC confirmed entries
West Surrey Racing BMW: Colin Turkington, Tom Oliphant, Stephen Jelley
Team Dynamics Honda: Gordon Shedden, Dan Rowbottom
Laser Tools Racing Infiniti: Ash Sutton, Aiden Moffat, Carl Boardley
Motorbase/MB Ford: Jake Hill, Ollie Jackson, Sam Osborne, Andy Neate
BTC Racing Honda: Josh Cook, TBA, Jade Edwards
Speedworks Motorsport Toyota: Rory Butcher, Sam Smelt
Excelr8 Motorsport Hyundai: Tom Ingram, Chris Smiley, Jack Butel, Rick Parfitt Jr
Ciceley Motorsport BMW: Adam Morgan, Tom Chilton
Team Hard Cupra: Jack Goff, Aron Taylor-Smith, Glynn Geddie, Nic Hamilton
Power Maxed Racing Vauxhall: Jason Plato, Dan Lloyd