Carl Boardley remains with Team HARD, switches to BMW 1 Series

Carl Boardley remains with Team HARD, switches to BMW 1 Series

Tony Gilham and Carl Boardley
Photo: Team HARD

Carl Boardley will remain with Team HARD. Racing in the 2020 British Touring Car Championship, returning for a second full season and switching to an ex-WSR BMW 1 Series for next year’s campaign.

Boardley, who made his BTCC début with Tony Gilham’s outfit in 2018, contested his first full season in 2019, racing a Volkswagen CC for the team. The 43-year-old secured a best finish of 14th in the season finale meeting at Brands Hatch.

The multiple National Hot Rod World Champion, who has also previously competed in the Ginetta GT4 SuperCup with the team, is looking forward to a second straight season in the BTCC.

“I’m over the moon to be back in the BTCC for 2020,” said Boardley. “I will admit that the 2019 season had its demons, but we used it to find our feet and understand the workings of the BTCC.

“The car has the potential to mix it at the front, so when this opportunity became available, I just had to jump at the chance.

“There were several options available but when WSR mentioned the availability of an established race-winning car, I couldn’t help but take an interest.

“I have a great working relationship with Tony and his Team HARD. Racing squad, so this is a fantastic fit for everyone involved.

“I’m really looking forward to trying the BMW 1 Series out over the coming months as we aim to hit the ground running at the Donington Park season opener.”

Gilham, who had a brief spell racing BMW machinery himself in 2011, is looking forward to continuing his working relationship with Boardley next year.

“We have developed a great relationship with Carl over the years he been with us and the 2019 season was a challenging one,” said Gilham. “But there were still moments when Carl was able to demonstrate his natural ability behind the wheel.

“I’m delighted that we have been able to bring the BMW name to our team, I loved the BTCC car I drove back in 2012 and I’m glad that Carl could get a deal with WSR to get them to hand over their hugely successful 1 Series.

“We have relative inexperience with rear-wheel drive machinery in the BTCC, but I firmly believe that Carl is the man to help steer us in the right direction with it. His years of experience and race engineering ability are really going to aid development and understanding.

“I’m sure much of the BTCC paddock and racing enthusiasts know, that our time with our beloved Volkswagen CC’s is coming to an end due to the current regulations which means we have a maximum of two years left with these cars.

“It’s a good time to start exploring all avenues as we look for a worthy successor. With the extensive developments we’ve made to the CC’s and the addition of the BMW, this is the perfect start to the process!”