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James Gornall replaces Jack Butel for Brands Hatch season finale

James Gornall will return to the British Touring Car Championship for this weekend’s season finale at Brands Hatch, replacing Jack Butel in one of Team HARD’s CUPRA Leon cars.

It marks Team HARD’s fourth driver change this year, with only Daniel Lloyd and Dexter Patterson set to complete a full season with the Kent-based squad.

Gornall, 39, last raced in the BTCC when he stepped in for Butel last year, on that occasion racing an EXCELR8 Hyundai at Croft.

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He previously contested the first two thirds of the 2020 BTCC season with Racing behind the wheel of an Audi S3, scoring a best result of seventh on his way to 20th overall in the drivers’ standings.

Gornall’s relationship with Tony Gilham’s Team HARD outfit dates back to 2021, when he drove one of its CUPRAs in the Goodyear tyre test.

“I’m thrilled to be back in the BTCC and to be representing Team HARD Racing once again,” said Gornall.

“It’s an incredible opportunity, and I can’t wait to hit the track at Brands Hatch on the GP loop – I achieved my best finish in the BTCC on this layout.

“The team has been working tirelessly, and I’m confident that together, we can deliver a great performance for the fans and sponsors.”

Along with Jade Edwards, Butel, 27, is one of only two full-season drivers to not record a points-paying finish this year.

Team owner Gilham is hoping that with Gornall on board the team can end the 2023 season on a strong footing.

“James is no stranger to our team, and we’re delighted to have him back with us for the final round at Brands Hatch GP,” added Gilham.

“His experience and familiarity with our setup will be invaluable. We’re aiming for a strong finish to the season, and we believe that with James on board, we can achieve that.”

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