Bobby Thompson has confirmed his continuation in the British Touring Car Championship for 2019, with the 22-year-old continuing to race a Volkswagen CC for the team next season.
Thompson made his début in the BTCC with the team in 2018, picking up a best result of seventh in a learning year in which he visited the points on three occasions – including twice at Snetterton.
The Hornchurch racer is the second deriver to be confirmed at Team HARD, alongside Mike Bushell in the Kent-based outfit.
“I’m obviously delighted to confirm that I will be back in the BTCC in 2019,” said Thompson. “After sitting down with Tony Gilham and seeing the changes to the cars and the team itself I am one hundred per cent certain that we will be in a position to make huge strides up the grid in 2019.
“We showed glimpses of what we are capable of in 2018 but when we sat down to discuss the future we all recognised where we needed to improve and what we needed to do to turn those glimpses into regular top ten performances.
“I’m really pleased that we can continue my journey towards the top step of the podium together.
“The BTCC is by far the most intense, competitive and professional championship I have ever been a part of and I am determined to pick up where we left off in 2018.
“I am going to be a stronger driver and with the work that the team and Mike [Bushell] are already doing I know that the team has a whole will be stronger too.”
Thompson will be remaining faithful to the Team HARD family, having been associated with Tony Gilham’s team for four years, with the partnership having begun in the Volkswagen Racing Cup series in 2015.
“Both I and my whole family strongly believe that loyalty is important in racing and I have a group of loyal sponsors who have supported me through thick and thin. Without the support of them and Tony’s support, my dream of being a BTCC driver would have died a long time ago.
“Tony has been a huge believer in me for a number of years and while last year wasn’t our most successful together, it is important for me to finish a job that we started back in 2015 and that job is to win in the BTCC.”
Team HARD Team Principal Tony Gilham is pleased to be able to continue with Thompson in next year’s BTCC.
“Bobby is a very special talent and one that can go to the very top,” added Gilham. “He has amazing natural ability and will shine in 2019.
“We had a mixed season this year in the BTCC but Bobby’s performances were noticed by many and the whole team are behind him as we aim to move up the grid together.
“It was very important for us to retain Bobby following his debut season and after recently confirming Mike, this gives us a solid foundation on which to build on as we have a number of upgrades for the VW CC for 2019 and our winter test programme has already begun.
“This is a very exciting signing for us and as Bobby mentioned, we also firmly believe in loyalty and are very proud that Bobby is back with us.
“To get our driver line up in place early will help us over the winter months really work on our programme for 2019.”