Ginetta GT 4 Supercup racer Michael Crees has been announced as the fourth driver signing for Team HARD in the 2019 British Touring Car Championship, where he will race one of the team’s Volkswagen CC cars.
Crees has already tested one of the team’s cars at Snetterton earlier this month, and will join Mike Bushell, Bobby Thompson and Carl Boardley in the team’s driving line-up for 2019.
The 35-year-old has comparatively limited experience in racing to-date, having only contested his first car racing season in 2017, winning the Ginetta Racing Drivers’ Club title.
In 2018 the 35-year-old stepped up to the BTCC-supporting Ginetta GT4 Supercup, continuing in the series this year where he won the Amateur class title.
“My dream has become a reality,” enthused Crees. “It has been a very difficult decision with what to do next year as I have so little experience in racing, but after winning two titles in two years of racing, we wanted to challenge ourselves in the hardest series in the UK.
“I want to thank Tony Gilham for taking a chance on us. Having spent the last couple of weeks working with and getting to know the team, how they work and our plans, it became clear this would be the right decision for the next chapter in my racing career.
“We share a lot of the same values and goals for the future so I’m very much looking forward to working with the team to see what we can achieve together.
“I can’t wait to get out this week and start a long, tough journey to becoming a successful BTCC driver.”
Team HARD Manager Tony Gilham added that there has been changes to the structure of his outfit during the off-season, in preparation for 2019, which will mark the fourth consecutive season in which Team HARD have run Volkswagen machinery.
“We are very proud to welcome Michael to what we call our family,” said Gilham. “Michael is very much like us in the way he approaches his racing with his family support around him and his mindset to do the best job possible on track but to enjoy it off track too.
“That makes him a perfect fit to our set up and we have already seen the value that we can offer each other as a package. He is a very special talent and has had a meteoric rise to the top and we cannot wait to share the next chapter of our stories together.
“In what will be a huge year for the team, it will also be a very steep learning curve for Michael as he steps up to what is the pinnacle of British motorsport. That said we have all been very impressed with Michael on the recent test days.
“We’ll be working hard over the winter to ensure we’re as ready as we can be for the season ahead. There have been several changes to the team structure and personnel, and we are hoping to achieve great things together as this is a long-term programme for us all.”