Team HARD drivers Nicolas Hamilton and Ollie Brown will miss this weekend’s British Touring Car Championship races at Knockhill due to damage and injuries respectively.
Both drivers were involved in an accident in the third race at Oulton Park last weekend when attempting to avoid the spinning BMW of Stephen Jelley.
The incident saw Hamilton’s car end up impacting the barriers heavily, whilst Brown was also caught up in the crash which ultimately brought the race to an early conclusion.
With only one week between Oulton Park and Knockhill, both drivers will miss this weekend’s races for differing reasons.
Brown has been forced to withdraw on medical grounds after sustaining a hairline fracture of the rib in the incident.
Hamilton’s car, meanwhile, suffered extensive chassis damage in the crash which is unable to be fixed in the short timeframe between the two events.
“I’ve certainly come into the BTCC with a bang,” said Brown. “After a strong weekend at Brands Hatch, I was determined to keep up the momentum during this next duo of back-to-back events.
“The incident itself was completely unavoidable. The tight and narrow nature of Oulton Park leaves a driver with nowhere to go when another car spins across the track.
“With the grass being soaked from all the rain it made it even more tricky to avoid Nic and the BMW of Stephen.
“I’m gutted to be on the side-lines for this weekend at Knockhill as I’ve never been to the circuit before and was really looking forward to the challenge.
“Unfortunately, on doctors’ advice, I will be sitting out this weekend with a hairline fracture of the rib and some bad bruising.
“It would have been touch and go without this injury due to the damage sustained to the car, but I have full faith that the boys would have prepared my car ready for this weekend. I can only thank them for all their hard work so far this season.
“I look forward to returning to the grid soon but for now it’s a case of resting my body and researching to ensure I come back stronger for the rest of the season.”
Hamilton explained that the crash was ‘unavoidable’ after he came upon the stricken car of Jelley at Druids on lap ten.
“Unfortunately it was a case of the wrong place at the wrong time,” said Hamilton. “I tried everything to avoid Stephen, but once I got onto the wet grass and tapped by Ollie, I was powerless to stop the car heading to the inside barrier.
“The crash was completely unavoidable on a narrow track and on the fastest part of the track. It was massive, but I am well and healthy, and I have no more aches and pains than I usually suffer with my condition.
“Team HARD. has built a sturdy car under the TOCA regulations so it’s testament to both parties that myself, Ollie and Stephen escaped relatively unscathed in an incident that happened on a 120 mph section of the track.
“The car has substantial chassis damage and therefore needs to be sent away for repairs, which is why the guys and girls at Team HARD will be unable to get my car ready for Knockhill this weekend. I’ll be back at Thruxton ready to push for more BTCC points.”
Team HARD Managing Director Tony Gilham is disappointed to see the team drop down to just two cars for this weekend, with Jack Goff continuing in the sole Volkswagen CC and Carl Boardley in his BMW 1 Series.
“I’m devastated to have to withdraw both the #28 and #34 cars from this weekend’s rounds at Knockhill especially off the back of strong results for both Ollie and Nic at Brands Hatch,” said Gilham.
“We hope to have the pair back out for the next round at Thruxton but for now, we must focus on both Jack and Carl who will be giving it their all at Knockhill this weekend.”