Team HARD boss Tony Gilham will replace Michael Caine in this weekend’s British Touring Car Championship races at Rockingham, with Caine having suffered from the re-emergence of an old back injury.
Gilham last competed in the BTCC in the final two rounds of 2015, when he raced one of the team’s Toyota Avensis cars to a best result of 15th at Silverstone.
The Team Boss admits that he will be faced with an uphill task this weekend, having not raced in the championship for almost a year.
“Michael’s had a flare up of an old back injury,” said Gilham. “It had previously been operated on and corrected, but he felt pain in race one back at Knockhill.
“It’s a shame for Michael and ourselves but it’s a long-term project with him and his sponsors as we look to 2017 and beyond.
“I’ll be stepping into the breech for this weekend – you could definitely say I’ve been thrown in at the deep end!
“These guys have been racing and testing all season and I haven’t been out in a racing car for the best part of 12 months.
“I raced the last two events of last season at Silverstone and Brands Hatch but since then I’ve done nothing.
“It’ll definitely be tricky but I’m looking forward to it – I always look forward to getting back into a racing car, especially a British Touring Car, and going racing again.”
Gilham admits that he may have to turn to two of his young drivers, Jake Hill and Mike Epps, for pointers as the weekend progresses.
“Driving a touring car in my colours is just going to be fantastic and I hope I can do myself, the car and the team some sort of justice.
“It’ll certainly be a weekend that’s a bit of a learning process for me. I’ll be working closely with our guys – Mike and Jake – to try and glean as much as I can before going out competitively in quali. They’ve been on it this season so they’ll be a real help.
“It would be nice to notch a point maybe, I’ll see what I can do. We’ll find out if there’s still a bit of life in the old dog yet!”