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Team HARD sign deal to run three Volkswagen CC’s in 2017

Team HARD has confirmed a deal has been brokered that will see them run a trio of Volkswagen CC machines in next year’s British Touring Car Championship.

The deal brings to an end the team’s two-year association with the Toyota Avensis, and sees them return to the NGTC model they originally introduced to the series in 2013. Their best result that season was a double podium with Tom Onslow-Cole at Thruxton.

The team took a sabbatical from the championship the following season, with the cars passing into the ownership and tenure of Warren Scott and Team BMR. They subsequently developed into race-winning, then championship-winning machinery with the technical nous of the Buntingford-based outfit, along with the driving capabilities of double champions Jason Plato and Colin Turkington, along with Scott and Aron Smith.

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This season has seen the package remain competitive, with Smith taking a maiden victory for new outfit Team BKR at Rockingham in the reverse grid contest.

With an upgrade to the newer-specification RML control components being compulsory ahead of next season, Team.HARD principal Tony Gilham believes the package is set for a new lease of competitive life in the field.

“Bringing the VWs to the BTCC was our brainchild back in 2011, so it feels like we have some unfinished business with them,” he commented.

“It was a good car out of the box then and was still winning races last season with the older kit onboard. Now we plan to update all three VWs to the RML-spec over the winter and believe we’ll have a really strong package.

“We’re coming off the back of a solid year with three older cars, but now we feel we’re ready to step up and become extremely competitive.”

Gilham also explained that a number of Team.HARD’s current engineering backroom team were part of the original VW builds back in 2013, and so for many this deal is something of a homecoming for the popular machinery.

He believes Team.HARD are well placed to continue the form of the Volkswagen CC next season as his team chase a maiden race victory.

“A number of our staff were also part of the original build project so of course there is a strong bond too. We looked at many options, however, and made this call because we believe they’ll be race-winning machines in our hands. To potentially build and develop new cars at the same time as carrying out the RML upgrades would have been a massive task.” explained Gilham.

Team.HARD have also already confirmed their first driver for next season, with the other two seats revealed to be filled in due course.

“We’ve already signed one driver, which will be announced in due course, and we’re speaking to further interested parties over the coming weeks in relation to the two vacant seats. It’s great for Team HARD to have secured this deal so early in the winter as it gives us the time required to prepare properly for what I’m sure will be another exciting and successful season ahead for us.” said Gilham.

Though the entire quota of TBLs (TOCA BTCC Licenses) go up for re-application at the start of this current season, if Team.HARD can get a strong three-car outfit together under this package it should provide them with their best chance yet at taking to the winner’s circle.


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