We are very pleased to announce the first of our pairings in the Dunlop Britcar Endurance Championship for 2017.
Following a successful debut for the team in the recent night race at our local circuit of Brands Hatch in Kent, we have decided that we would like to support the continued growth of the reinvented Britcar championship in to 2017 and beyond and even more excited to have secured a deal that will see Simon Rudd and Tom Barley pairing up in what we believe to be a very strong partnership.
Simon will be our longest serving driver and entering his 4th consecutive season with us. Simon has developed so much on and off track and no doubt we will see some very strong performances at the wheel of one of our Ginetta G55 cars. He has matured in to a top racing driver and will be looking to fight for the Championship win.
Simon said ”I am really excited to start this new chapter in my career. We had a lot of offers from different teams and championships off the back of our successful 2016, however when the opportunity came up to jump into the Ginetta with Tony and the team it was something I couldn’t turn down. This will be my 4th year with the team and they proved last year they have the speed in the car to win races. I am grateful that Tony has given me the opportunity, once again, to go racing. I am super excited to pair up with Tom. We have been talking over the winter about teaming up together and making the step up into GT racing. We are mates off the track and that will make a difference – I think we are a strong pairing that have every chance of being successful in 2017 and beyond. A huge thanks to Tony, TeamHARD, my family and all my sponsors for giving me this opportunity!”
Alongside Simon will be Tom Barley who we have also enjoyed a great relationship with over the last few years and seen his progression with us all the way to his BTCC debut in 2013. Tom is also a very capable racing driver and we believe that he will have the pace, consistency and concentration that is so important in endurance racing.
Tom said “I’m over the moon to be joining forces with Tony and the rest of the team again in 2017. Tony has played a key role in my racing career, and I’m very excited by the challenge of GT racing. The GT4 Ginetta is a fantastic piece of kit, and I couldn’t be happier to pair up with Simon. I think we’ll be a strong force in 2017, with consistency and experience being our forte.”
We are very much looking forward to working with Simon and Tom again and also a massive thank you to Claire ,Rob and the rest of the Britcar team for their hard work and commitment in putting together what we believe to be a very good championship
Team Hard will compete in the Ginetta GT4 Supercup for the first time next year as part of an expanded campaign in 2017.
The squad plans to run two cars in the TOCA support series and will also enter Ginetta G55 GT4s in the Britcar Endurance Championship, alongside its existing commitments in the British Touring Car Championship, British GT Volkswagen Racing Cup and VAG Trophy.
Team Hard are pleased to announce that they have signed Dan Kirby – who took part in the final Britcar round this year with the team – as its first driver in the Supercup as part of an increased relationship between Team Hard and Kirby’s Trade Price Cars dealership. We have formed a really good partnership with Trade Price Cars and will be announcing more details of this in the coming weeks.”
Kirby will race Will Burns’s car from this year as the 2016 GT4 Supercup runner-up steps up to the BTCC with the team. As we’ve just seen with Burn’s, it’s another step on the ladder towards the BTCC. We are keen to talk to interested parties for our second seat to run alongside Kirby in 2017.
“We were looking to expand on the TOCA package and the Supercup is something we’ve been looking at for quite a while,” said team boss Tony Gilham. “It’s a good championship for us to get involved in and it’s a further development of our relationship with Ginetta.
“We’ve learnt a lot about the car in British GT following a very successful debut campaign culminating in becoming the GT4 Team Champions. This has created lots of interest so encouraged us to look at our options as we continue to grow and develop as a team. Dan will be racing in the Am class and we’re really looking forward to it. He showed great pace out the box at Brands recently so will be interesting to see how he develops next year in the 2017 Ginetta Supercup”
Kirby added “2017 is going to be a great year, I’m mega excited to be competing in the GT4 Supercup with Team Hard. I knew that’s where I wanted to be after testing with the team as well as our recent successful Britcar debut.”
“Also commercially this is an exciting partnership for my business. Motorsport and vehicle sales can work hand in hand. With Team Hard’s following and fan base we can create a fantastic offering to new potential customers”
Kirby’s company Trade Price Cars were crowned Used Car Dealer of the Year at the prestigious Car Dealer awards in London last month.
Team HARD. are pleased to announce their first signing for the VAG trophy for 2017, Chris Milford joins the Kent based team after testing in one of Team HARD’s Volkswagen Golf R race prepared cars last month at Brands Hatch.
Chris, 27, born in Dorchester, now based in Edinbrough, began his racing journey in Vietnam at the age of 10, when his family relocated there with work. Karts was the chosen vehicle and it soon became apparent that Chris had a natural talent and when they moved back to the UK Chris decided to move into tin tops.
2016 was an up and down year, Chris started in the Mini championship, but moved to the Fiesta ST Cup where he proved his ability by coming away with 2 wins, 3 second places and 4 thirds, this cumulated in Chris finishing the season in 4th overall while only competing for half a season.
Team HARD. principal Tony Gilham, said “We are very proud to welcome Chris to the Team Hard family and are very much looking forward to working with him on and off track in 2017. Chris has already worked with us at recent BTCC, Britcar and VW Cup events as well as testing himself at the end of the current season in one of our Golf’s. He had a very successful first day and got up to speed in no time. His whole approach is a perfect fit for the team and I’m sure he will be mixing it at the front of the grid from the start of the season.”
Chris added “Yeah, I’m really excited to have this opportunity with Team-HARD and a big thanks to Tony as well. Team-HARD are a great team to run with, I’ve seen how they operate for a while now and enjoy seeing them perform on and off the track.”
“Testing the VW Cup car in October only made me want to start the season sooner!”
“There is still a lot of work to do with testing the new car and getting things just the way we want it but I am more than confident that Team-HARD and I will get this done and be ready for the next season.”
“This year will be a challenge as this championship is a close one with some very experienced drivers, who have a few seasons under their belts.
We will be looking for some good podium positions and some good point scoring!”
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