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17-year-old Daryl DeLeon joins Team HARD

17-year-old rookie Daryl DeLeon will join Team HARD for the second half of the British Touring Car Championship season, stepping in to replace the departing Jade Edwards.

Edwards is herself returning to One Motorsport, replacing the ousted Will Powell.

DeLeon recently took part in the Goodyear tyre test at Donington Park with the Kent-based team, where he ended up with the 11th best time overall out of 22 drivers, and was the fastest of any of Team HARD’s CUPRA racers.

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Having won Team HARD’s 2023 scholarship program, DeLeon is also the first driver to enter the BTCC with a Philippines heritage.

In 2021 he took part in the Radical SR1 Cup for the first time, continuing in the series in 2022 whilst also taking part in three races in the GB4 Championship.

This year he has continued in the Radical SR1 Championship, where he is the current points leader after four events.

“I’m absolutely thrilled to have the chance to drive a touring car in the BTCC championship,” said DeLeon, who will be two years younger than the next youngest driver on the grid when he starts his first race. “I’m very grateful to Tony Gilham and Dave Tyson at Team HARD for extending this opportunity and for having faith in me.

“I’m still only 17 and the Team HARD scholarship has definitely opened doors, it’s put me in contact with the right people and given me the opportunity to race in the UK’s premier motorsport series.

“I’m looking forward to getting on track. The racing is fantastic but so is everything about the series. The engineers, mechanics and everyone that forms the team plus I’ve experienced racing in front of crowds but touring car spectators are just on another level, they are the best!

“I’ve been racing with Team HARD in the British Endurance Championship which has definitely helped me prepare for this step in my career.

“A Porsche GT3 is not exactly the same as a touring car but the approach to racing is the same. Working with engineers, data analysts, car set-up and race strategy is all part of it so the more racing and seat time I can have, the better.”

Tony Gilham, Managing Director of Team HARD, is looking forward to working with the youngster for the second half of the season.

“I am delighted to welcome Daryl into our touring car operation,” said Gilham. “He has impressed us with his exceptional speed and performance, and we believe he has a bright future ahead.

“Daryl’s addition will bring a fresh dynamic to the team, and we are excited to see him in action for the remainder of the season.”

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