Mike Bushell will return to Team HARD for the 2020 British Touring Car Championship season, partnering up with Jack Goff in one of the outfit’s Volkswagen CC cars.
Bushell raced with Tony Gilham’s team in 2018, but was unable to find a full-season seat for 2019, where he initially worked as a race engineer for Rory Butcher at AmD Tuning.
The 30-year-old unexpectedly returned to the driving seat for the final three events of the year when he stood in for Sam Tordoff in one of AmD’s Honda Civics, ending the year with a season-best result of sixth at Brands Hatch.
“I am looking forward to returning to Team HARD. Racing for the 2020 BTCC season so I can carry on with the progress that I made during 2018,” said Bushell, who was the team’s best points scorer in 2018.
“Unfortunate circumstances meant I was unable to take part in the 2019 season and instead I spent my time helping to engineer Rory Butcher to the Independents’ Drivers title.
“A short spell as a substitute for Sam Tordoff for the last three events in the Honda Civic re-kindled my desire to race.
“With help from Fox Transport, I am able to return to the grid full-time for 2020 and Team HARD. Racing can offer me a chance to be involved in the engineering side as well as driving. A year on the sidelines has helped with my technical understanding and I look forward to extracting the most out of the VW CC once again.”
Team HARD Managing Director Gilham is looking forward to working with both Goff and Bushell again next year.
“First and foremost, I am delighted to bring Mike back into the team after a year away,” said Gilham. “We are good friends away from the track and it was a very difficult decision that we collectively had to make back in March.
“I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason and to have Jack and Mike as a two-car pairing in 2020 is just fantastic.
“I’m sure many will join me in thinking that this is one of the strongest pairings that will grace the BTCC grid next season.
“Mike has already been using his engineering prowess and experience from 2019 to push the VW CCs on to the next level. They may have been around since 2013 but there is plenty of speed still to be unlocked and 2020 will see a vastly improved car!”
Goff is looking forward to having Bushell as his team-mate, adding: “I’m really looking forward to working alongside Mike next season. He is a fast driver and has proven his speed over the years and we had many on-track battles in 2018.
“This motorsport business is a funny one. I replaced Mike in his car at the start of 2019 on the eve of Season Launch which was tricky for everyone concerned for varying reasons.
“Mike then replaced Sam [Tordoff] at the end of 2019 which was actually my car from 2018 and now we are racing alongside each other. A small and crazy world indeed!
“I believe 2020 is going to be another very competitive year, and I can’t wait to get started with Mike on our winter testing programme and to come out fighting.”