Will Powell will make his British Touring Car Championship début at Brands Hatch later this month, after signing a deal to race the Team HARD CUPRA vacated by Jack Goff prior to the season start.
Powell, 37, has signed a deal with Tony Gilham’s squad to complete the remainder of the 27-race championship in the car, alongside Árón Taylor-Smith, Bobby Thompson and Nicolas Hamilton.
The reigning British Endurance Champion has collected race experience in GT3, GT4 and TCR cars in recent years. Last year he took part in the first three meetings of the Touring Car Trophy in the TCR class, but he only finished one race, in seventh, in his Hyundai i30 N.
Powell secured eight class podiums, including four wins, on his way to the 2021 British Endurance Series championship title in a McLaren 650S GT3, co-driving with Dave Scaramanga.
The Kent driver is also a Senior Motorsport Consultant and Team Principal of the Silverstone-based Motus One racing team.
He has already driven the Team HARD CUPRA, albeit without the hybrid kit installed, when he took part in a test at Snetterton in July last year has part of Team HARD’s driver analysis programme.
“This is the realisation of a boyhood dream,” said Powell, who began racing in 2014. “I believe that the BTCC is the pinnacle of British motorsport.
“I don’t underestimate the scale of the challenge facing me but I’m relishing joining the grid at Brands Hatch and racing against the best of the best from race four of the BTCC onwards this season.
“Despite the unusual circumstances and with next to no preparation ahead of Brands, I’m very conscious of what is achievable but I’m still literally over the moon.
“I would skip school back in the day to camp out at Brands and watch the touring cars. I grew up in Kent, went to school there and my family still live there. A Kentish boy making his BTCC debut on a Kentish track and driving for a Kentish team.
“I’d like to thank Tony Gilham and family for the opportunity to make the dream a reality, along with our new friends at Autobrite Direct, JourneyHero and all my partners at Motus One.”
Will Power, Motus One, Team Principal and DriverWill Powell, Driver of the Autobrite Direct with Journey Hero Cupra
Tony Gilham, Managing Director of Team HARD. Racing, explained that the relationship with Powell had been established for some time.
“We have been working with Will and Motus One for a little while now including a successful test day in our CUPRA last season so it’s great that we are able to get him onboard to fill our last seat for this season,” said Gilham.
“Will is a great guy and has vast experience in motorsport both on and off the track which will really help accelerate his development in BTCC.
“Commercially this deal just makes sense for both parties. We both know each other well, the team know Will and vice-versa and coming into the season late, we wanted to find a driver that already has a relationship with both our staff and partners to build for the long-term.
“Some of the biggest names in motorsport are already working with Will including David Brabham, who mentors him in racing, so adding their knowledge and experience to our programme is a massive positive for everyone involved.”