‘Into the Night’ for Epps and Clayden

‘Into the Night’ for Epps and Clayden

Michael Epps will join Team HARD. Racing as the team returns to the Dunlop Britcar Endurance Championship for the final round of the 2019 season. Epps will be joining Ben Clayden in the first of the Ginetta GT4 Supercup entries.

Epps only competed in the first two thirds of the 2019 Ginetta GT4 Supercup series but took multiple podium finishes on his way to 7th in the overall standings before turning to a coaching role for teammate Clayden at the back end of the season.

Epps is looking forward to racing ‘Into the Night’ this weekend. “I’m stoked to be racing again before the season closes. Since I first came to the “Into the Night” race a couple years ago I thought that’d be something I’d like to do when the opportunity arises and now it has.

I’m well acquainted with the G55 GT4 and think we’ll be competitive. It’ll also be very cool to share the track with David Brabham and their new BT62 on its racing debut!”

This will be the first time Team HARD. Racing have raced in the series since the 2018 finale whereby Tom Barley and Simon Rudd took the GT4 class championship.

Team HARD. Racing Managing Director, Tony Gilham is glad to have Epps back in one of his Ginetta race cars. “Mike has been with the team for some time now and I’m delighted that he is with us to end our 2019 season.

Mike had a strong part season in this year’s Supercup championship and was on the pace from the get-go despite having never driven the car before 2019. He has used his wealth of experience to master the Ginetta and share his knowledge with racing newcomer Ben.

They clearly have a great working relationship having spent so much time together and I’m looking forward to seeing how they get on in a competitive environment.”

The Dunlop Britcar Endurance Championship series will reach its climax at Brands Hatch on 9th/10th November. With Epps’s inclusion into the series it’s going to be a fascinating weekend. Furthermore, this is one of the few events held in the United Kingdom that finishes at night. What better way to bring the Motorsport season to a close.

Photo Credit: Ian Cutting Photography with Prescott Motorsport

Scott-Dickeson joins ‘Into the Night’ Finale

Scott-Dickeson joins ‘Into the Night’ Finale

Nick Scott-Dickeson will return to Team HARD. Racing with the team re-joining the Dunlop Britcar Endurance Championship for the final round of the 2019 season. Scott-Dickeson will be joining young Steven Chandler in the second of the teams Ginetta GT4 Supercup entries.

Scott-Dickeson competed in multiple rounds of this seasons GT Cup championship and was one of the drivers that helped the team take the GTA class championship at the first time of asking. Scott-Dickeson also entered last seasons ‘Into the Night’ round with Team HARD. Racing, taking a double podium finish.

Scott-Dickeson is excited to be back in the Ginetta. “I’m Really excited to be ending the year at the ‘Into the Night’ race. It was eventful for me last year with some unlucky mishaps but ending the year on the podium. I’m going into this weekend fully focused for it to end in in a similar manner but this time on the top step.

It’s been a great year for me and Team HARD. Racing and I want to keep this positive momentum going!”

This will be the first time Team HARD. Racing have raced in the series since the 2018 finale where Scott-Dickeson and Ryan Harper-Ellam worked together to secure a double podium finish under the lights of the Brands Hatch Indy circuit.

Team HARD. Racing’s Managing Director, Tony Gilham sounded confident in Scott-Dickeson’s chances this weekend. “Nick is a delight to have around the team and I’m looking forward to working with him again this weekend.

His experience in combating the Brands Hatch Indy circuit at night will prove invaluable, especially on Saturday as there isn’t any night time testing.

I’d also like to thank the Dunlop Britcar Endurance Championship for having us back after a year away from the series. We are aiming to be back with a bang and on the top step of the podium.”

The Dunlop Britcar Endurance Championship series will reach its climax at Brands Hatch on 9th/10th November. Scott-Dickerson is set to be in action in what is going to be a fascinating weekend. Furthermore, this is one of the few events held in the United Kingdom that finishes at night. What better way to bring the Motorsport season to a close.

Photo Credit: Ian Cutting Photography with Prescott Motorsport

Chandler Back in for Britcar Finale

Chandler Back in for Britcar Finale

Team HARD. Racing will be entering a second Ginetta as the team re-joins the Dunlop Britcar Endurance Championship for the final round of the 2019 season. The first driver to be announced in the second Ginetta G55 is Steven Chandler who last raced for the team in the GT Cup in July. Since then Steven has joined the team to assist off track building and prepping the Ginetta cars that we will be racing in the Britcar finale.

This will be Chandlers’ first competitive race under the lights of the Brands Hatch Indy circuit. Chandler has been building and running a Ginetta under the supervision of team manager Elliott Wood over the second half of the 2019 season.

Chandler is raring to go with his new car knowledge. “I’m excited to get back behind the wheel of the Ginetta for the Britcar finale. Since I last raced the car, I’ve started working at Team HARD. Racing HQ building, prepping and running the cars in the GT Cup and Supercup championships. This knowledge and experience of understanding the car is only going to improve my speed and ability to set the car up to suit my driving style.

Lastly, thank you to Team HARD. Racing for the opportunity both on and off track in 2020!”

This will be the first time Team HARD. Racing have raced in the series since the 2018 finale whereby Tom Barley and Simon Rudd took the GT4 class championship.

Managing Director, Tony Gilham is looking forward to seeing Chandler behind the wheel again. “We have been working with Steve throughout the season since his debut in the GT Cup in July. Despite his young age Steve shows great maturity and can handle the pressure of not only racing a car but also running a car on the biggest stage in UK Motorsport.”

The Britcar series will reach its climax at Brands Hatch on 9th/10th November. Steve is set to be in action in what is going to be a fascinating weekend. Furthermore, this is one of the few events held in the United Kingdom that finishes at night. What better way to bring the Motorsport season to a close.

Late Call Sees Sam Win Championship for Team HARD. Racing

Late Call Sees Sam Win Championship for Team HARD. Racing

Sam Randon received a late call up to end his season by stepping in for a drive with his team, Team HARD, in the final GT Cup round at Snetterton.

(Edited) story by Ashbourne News Telegraph

And it proved successful for the Ashbourne driver, as he partnered Niall Quinn to victory in the GTA Class in the endurance race. They secured class honours and the overall championship for the season for Team HARD after also coming a close second in the sprint race.

Sam Randon and Niall Quinn took the GTA class win for Team HARD this weekend
Qualifying in pole position for the shorter sprint race, Randon finished ahead of the competition as they crossed the finish line, but his 4.5 second track advantage was just short of the 5 second penalty he collected for exceeding track limits, and he had to settle for 2nd place.

In the longer endurance race Randon, again in class pole position, led from the start and handed over the first spot to teammate Quinn at the pit stop, who maintained the dominance and brought the car home for the win. Despite a number of driver changes over the season, the win gave the Team HARD car the overall GTA class championship.

Randon hopes to next race in the premier championship – the Millers Oils Ginetta GT4 Supercup for Team Hard next season and admitted it was slightly embarrassing to pick up a championship win after one race weekend in the GTA class.

“I feel like a bandit turning up for one race and getting my name on the GTA Championship but I raced to help out (team boss) Tony Gilham and to get some laps under my belt in preparation for next year,” he said.

Quinn returns to the top in GT Cup debut

Quinn returns to the top in GT Cup debut

Snetterton, Norwich, UK – Tuesday 29th October 2019: Dunboyne’s Niall Quinn made a sensational return to racing in Snetterton last weekend following a three year spell on the side-lines, to come away with pair of podium finishes that included an overall win in what was the former championship winning driver’s first endurance race of his career.

In a last minute deal with top British outfit Team HARD. Quinn was using the opportunity to evaluate his options ahead of a planned full return to racing in 2020. Enjoying many years of success in Karting and single seater racing around the world, taking on the final round of the 2019 GT Cup Championship would be his first taste of true endurance racing, something he was relishing.

With limited mileage in advance of the weekend itself, it was certainly in at the deep end for the former Motorsport Ireland Young Racing Driver of the year. Saturday’s track conditions were certainly far from ideal for Quinn who was set with the task of getting to grips with the hugely popular and successful Ginetta G55 on a soaking wet Snetterton circuit. Added to this, steering rack failure in qualifying would limit his running to a single flying lap. However, that one lap would amazingly place him in second on the grid for the opening sprint race of the weekend. Sadly however, unable to ready the car in time for the race, Quinn was forced to sit on the side-lines and lament what could have been.

Picking himself up for the second race of the day, this time the much longer 50 minute encounter, Niall had it all to do starting from the rear of the field. As the lights went out, Quinn set off on a charge that would seem him move past over 10 cars on track, including a superb move around the outside of the challenging Coram corner to pass the newly crowned GT Cup champions in the McLaren. As is often the case in endurance racing, an ill-timed Safety Car would drop the Team HARD. driver down a lap from the main pack, meaning Niall would have to settle for ninth overall and second in the GTA class.

Joined by Ginetta GT4 Supercup & GT Cup regular, Sam Randon on Sunday, Quinn was looking forward to the chance of working with a co-driver on a now dry Norwich circuit. Teaming up for Sunday afternoon’s 50-minute endurance race, Randon started the race and put in a superb display to dive into the pits from the class lead. Handing the car over to Niall, he matched his GTA class rivals pace to maintain their 10 second advantage at the head of the class and secured a superb victory to complete a very positive weekend.

Niall Quinn – #79 Team HARD. Ginetta G55:
“I am really happy with how the weekend turned out. It was a real shame to miss the sprint race due to the steering rack failure, but I would be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy coming from the back in the Endurance race! It was a real challenge making progress through the field of cars with different strengths and weaknesses and figuring out where the Ginetta could do the job and get by. Sunday was another great day, Sam did a fantastic job in the first stint and I’m delighted I could finish the job and get a win for the team. Thanks to Tony and all of Team HARD. for the opportunity.”

Tony Gilham – Managing Director, Team HARD.
“It was great to have Niall onboard this weekend to help us seal the GTA class championship in our debut GT Cup season! You really couldn’t tell that Niall had spent three years away from racing as he got on the pace from the get go. His wealth of experience was valuable over the course of the weekend which saw beautiful sunshine and torrential rain. What a great debut for Niall, a class win in the final race of the season. Things are looking good for a full time return in 2020!”

Coates stages Clio Cup comeback at Brands Hatch

Coates stages Clio Cup comeback at Brands Hatch

The Renault UK Clio Cup has been a mainstay of the British Motorsport scene for over 20 years, it’s 2019 championship has been one of the most exciting in its illustrious history. Yorkshireman Max Coates has played a central role in its final season after a yearlong title battle and rivalry with Ulsterman Jack Young.

Entering the final round at Brands Hatch in Kent, Primex Plastics sponsored Coates sat 15 points behind Young in the standings. The previous round at Silverstone provided the latest twist in the Coates-Young championship battle, the Yorkshireman ending the second race in the gravel trap after contact from his ex-team mate. Few thought the drama would, or could, escalate further at Brands Hatch.

But that it did and it all started in Qualifying. The rain-hit session started damp with all cars starting on wet Michelin tyres. The track dried quickly and Coates pitted to make his RPC bpi PLASgran car slick shod whilst his rival continued on wet tyres. After two laps Coates was on track to set the fastest lap of the session by some margin, but as he entered the final corner of the historic GP layout at Brands Hatch, he was greeted by a red flag halting the session after another driver had finished up in the gravel. With further rain afterwards the Polydist sponsored drivers times were only good enough for 4th and 10th on the grid for the weekends two races. Meanwhile Young had scored 7th and 3rd. It meant Coates would likely out-score in race one and Young would in the championship deciding race two.

As Coates in his Harron Homes backed car pulled up to 4th position on the grid in race one he stalled, his clutch not clearing sufficiently to stop the car. Thankfully he got it restarted and was able to continue without further issues, however he crept away slowly. Under pressure from his championship rival Coates turned defence into attack and was the fastest car on the circuit, within a lap moving into 2nd place. He then began his advances on the early race leader and on lap 5 was on his rear bumper. A safety car intervention was needed to clear a car stricken in the gravel trap which halted the RMB Automotive and Bennett Renault backed drivers progress. He then lost a spot at the restart and despite his early race pace had to settle for 3rd place. The action didn’t end there, Young was given a drive-through penalty for overlapping at the safety car restart, a penalty he did not serve. He was handed a 30-second penalty after the race which meant Coates lead the championship once more, by just a single point, going into the final race of the season.

To the finale, Coates starting 10th was really on the back foot despite his points advantage. A strong opening lap meant he climbed 5 places only for an early race safety car to halt his progress. The intervention was lengthy, but at the restart Coates looked almost certain to gain another position, only for another safety car to be called. Coates backed out of the move but other drivers didn’t hear the message on the radio and he slipped back to 6th place. Again, the safety car period was lengthy leaving just 4 laps for Coates to overhaul Young’s advantage. Coates moved swiftly through to 2nd place in the final laps and had one lap to close and pass his rival to take the championship. By that point the gap was nearly 3 seconds which was just too big for Coates to overcome. 2nd in the race and 2nd in the championship, by just 5 points.

Afterwards an emotional Coates said, “I put everything I had into that last race but it just wasn’t to be. The safety car laps hampered my chances to move forward but when I had the opportunity to overtake I did, I couldn’t be happier with my drive today but I’m so disappointed not to have taken the title. It’s easy with hindsight to look back at where I could have found another 6 points this year, we’ve had plenty of set-backs and really any one of them could have made the difference.

I’d like to thank all of my sponsors, Team HARD. and all the people who work with me on my racing and the car itself for giving the me the opportunity to do this, without them I couldn’t have put this title fight together. Likewise this ends four years of racing in the Renault UK Clio Cup, a championship that has rejuvenated my racing career and without doubt shaped my life, I’d like to extend my thanks to all the staff involved in the series and anyone who has been involved in the last 4 years.”

UK Clio Cup Media Officer Carl McKellar said “For the 300,000 fans who have attended the events and the millions more watching ITV4’s live coverage of the action, the rivalry between Max Coates and Jack Young has been the most exciting of the season out of all the BTCC’s supporting categories.

“Similarly, in the media room, the press – even those there to cover the BTCC – often commented how they’d downed tools to watch the Max vs Jack show – a real highlight of their day!

“To win 7 races in a championship as competitive as the UK Clio Cup is a very rare feat but Max managed this – it’s a huge testament to his abilities and how he has matured into a great all-round performer during the past several years. His following is now many thousands and actually puts to shame that of many drivers in higher levels of the sport – including some in the headlining BTCC.”

The Brands Hatch races can be watched back via the ITV Hub or BTCC ITV Motorsport website; https://www.itv.com/btcc/races/btcc-2019-brands-hatch-gp-race-action. Coates will have at least another two races meetings this year, competing in the final round of the Britcar Endurance Championship this weekend at Oulton Park and at the Race of Remembrance on the 9th and 10th November at Anglesey.