Southeastern high-speed train driver swaps rail-track for race-track

Southeastern high-speed train driver swaps rail-track for race-track

Deal based racing driver, Toby Trice, will be making his motorsport debut this weekend (May 18th) at the Ginetta Racing Drivers Club (GRDC) in Snetterton Park, Norfolk.

The 28-year-old will be realising a dream as he lines up on the grid for his debut season with leading British Touring Car Championship squad, Team HARD. The eight race competition will see Toby transition from a novice racer to a qualified competitor vying for automatic qualification into next year’s G40 Cup Championship, achieved by winning the GRDC series.

Having worked as a high-speed train driver at Southeastern for the last 5 years, the train company will be sponsoring Toby’s races, which he will undertake in a car designed specially to replicate the 140 mph trains he drives on a daily basis.

Toby’s introduction to motorsport began when he started go-karting only 3 years ago as a coping mechanism for the stress caused by a number of failed fertility treatments that he and his fiancé experienced. As a result, Toby and his sponsors will be raising money and awareness for Fertility Network UK, a charity that provides support for couples that have been affected by infertility.

Since then, Toby has gone on to set a number of records and win “Driver’s Driver of the Year” at his local club at Buckmore Park, before being spotted by Team HARD as a rising star on the scene.

Toby said “I’ve always loved life in the fast-lane, so to be racing in the Ginetta championship is an absolute dream. Given I regularly reach speeds of 140 mph from the train driver’s seat, 125 mph behind the wheel should be a breeze. I would like to thank my employers and colleagues at Southeastern for sponsoring this adventure and being so supportive.”

David Statham, Managing Director at Southeastern said, “We are so proud of Toby’s achievements and delighted to be sponsoring such a worthy cause. Toby has already proven to be one of Britain’s fastest train drivers; we now look forward to seeing him achieve the same dizzying speeds on the race track. Good luck Toby!”

This year marks the 10th anniversary of Southeastern’s high-speed service. Travelling at speeds of up to 140mph, the line has significantly cut journey times for thousands of people travelling to the capital and across the South East and has helped bring in millions of pounds in investment to the local economy. For example, travel times from Ashford International to St Pancras International take just 38 minutes compared to Ashford International to central London on a standard train service, which takes around 80 minutes.

Epps at the Wheel for Donington Park Track Day

Epps at the Wheel for Donington Park Track Day

We are delighted to announce that we are launching our FIRST Hard. Drive track day at the famous Donington Park circuit in Derbyshire on Monday 10th June.

We bring further good news as we can confirm that BTCC and current Ginetta GT4 SuperCup front runner MIKE EPPS will be leading the day in what is his first track day experience.

You will be driving out championship winning Volkswagen Cup racing cars before Mike takes you out to show you how it’s really done. We are letting Mike loose in his current Ginetta SuperCup car to wizz you around the famous Donington Park national circuit. To celebrate our first track day at Donington we are throwing in our SuperCup hotlaps for FREE!

Mike is one of the quickest drivers currently racing the Ginetta SuperCup car as he currently lies 5th in the championship including a 2nd and 3rd place finishes at Donington Park last month.
This opportunity is available for a price of £499 per person.

To secure your place on this rare opportunity you can pay a deposit of £249 online HERE.
The balance will be due by Monday 3rd June.

Check out the video below of Mike in action earlier this season.

Team HARD Track day experiences
There’s no better way to get your heart pumping than by taking to the wheel of one of our race prepared cars on one of our fabulous driving experiences.

Designed to give you a taster of sampling life in the fast lane at many of the UK’s famous race tracks.

As we are an independent company, we are not tied to any one track or provider. This means we offer a huge choice of days at Circuits located across the UK and Europe and can offer you non-biased advice on the best Experiences and Events to suit your requirements.

General Car Track Days are ideally suited to track day drivers with experience. Attendees range from track day enthusiasts looking for their latest thrill, to racing drivers putting in some laps.

As always, our team of professional drivers will be on hand at all times to offer advice and one-to-one in-car tuition.

All levels of driver are welcome on these events, even if you have never taken part in a track day.

A typical General Car Track Day has an Open Pit Lane format, enabling you to go out on the circuit as you choose. Your day will begin with registration, followed by your car being noise-tested. Please pay special attention to the noise limit listed on your chosen event.

One of the most important parts of the day is next, with the drivers’ briefing. This will cover everything you need to know about the day including the schedule, circuit information, rules and some very useful coaching hints and tips.

This is quickly followed by sighting laps. You will drive line astern behind the course car at a reduced pace to familiarise yourself with the corners, marshal posts and lights.

TIMETABLE
07:30 Sign On
08:00 Breakfast
08:30 Briefing
08:50 Team HARD Driver’s Introduction
09:00 Track Time Starts
09:00 – 11:45 – Driver Tuition
11:45 – 12:00 – Hot laps
13:00 Lunch Time
14:00 Track Time Resumes
14:00 – 15:45 – Driver Tuition
15:45 – 17:00 – Hot Laps
17:00 Track Time Ends
17:00 Round Up

Onboard with Mike Epps in his Ginetta GT4 SuperCup car

Ryder Back with Team HARD. Racing in Ginetta GT5 Challenge

Ryder Back with Team HARD. Racing in Ginetta GT5 Challenge

Lewis Ryder re-joins Team HARD. Racing for an assault on the 2019 Ginetta GT5 Challenge championship. Ryder impressed the team with whom he entered the final round of the 2018 Volkswagen Racing Cup championship with last September by setting the fastest lap of the race in a field that was full of seasoned veterans.

The championship of choice for Ryder in 2019 is the Protyre Motorsport Ginetta GT5 Challenge due to its inclusion on both the British GT and British Touring Car Championship support packages and live coverage via Itv4 and social media platforms Facebook and Youtube. The series also offers a unique opportunity to visit the iconic Zandvoort circuit in the Netherlands in what is the championships showpiece event.

Ryder, who was a GKR Scaffolding scholarship finalist in 2018 is happy to be joining forces with Team HARD. Racing again for a full season. “‘I’m excited to work with Tony and Team HARD. Racing as it opens up so many opportunities for me moving forward. The way in which they progress their drivers from junior formulae up to championships such as the BTCC is something that I’m looking forward to being involved in.

My first involvement with Team HARD. Racing was during the 2018 scholarship. The atmosphere of the team is great, and I can’t wait to see the guys again as we look to kick on in the championship.”

This season is the first year Team HARD. Racing have entered the Protyre Motorsport Ginetta GT5 Challenge adding another strand to the teams ever growing championship portfolio. Whilst it is a new championship for the team, they are no strangers to Ginetta machinery having sealed the British GT GT4 teams championship in 2016 using the manufactures GT4 machines. The team have also competed with Ginetta cars in the Ginetta Supercup, GT Cup and Britcar championships in recent seasons.

Managing Director of Team HARD. Racing Tony Gilham is delighted to be working with another of his teams 2018 scholarship finalists. “Lewis is a fantastic talent who possesses great speed and wheel to wheel skill. He did brilliantly in our 2018 scholarship program, narrowly missing out to eventual winner Ethan Hammerton.

We got Lewis in one of our Volkswagen Racing Cup cars at the end of 2018 and he was on the pace from the off matching our established drivers for lap times. An 8th placed finish and the fastest lap in the final race of the season was a great achievement for Lewis in a car he only had limited running in.

As a team we are really looking forward to seeing how Lewis progresses this season, he had a nasty shunt in round one of the championship but has showed great pace and everyone can expect him to be mixing it at the sharp end of the grid for the remainder of the season.”

You can catch Lewis in action next weekend (17th/18th May) as the Protyre Motorsport Ginetta GT5 Challenge heads to the fastest circuit in the United Kingdom, Thruxton, as part of the British Touring Car Championship support package.

Callum Jenkins Joins Prosser for GT Cup Debut

Callum Jenkins Joins Prosser for GT Cup Debut

Former Volkswagen Racing Cup entrant Callum Jenkins will make his GT Cup debut at this weekends round held at Snetterton and joins Kris Prosser with Team HARD. Racing. Jenkins raced for the team in 2018 taking a top 4 finish in the Volkswagen Racing Cup on the famous Spa-Francorchamps circuit last term. Jenkins will be at the wheel of the #79 Ginetta G55 Supercup car that currently sits 4th in the championship standings after the opening round at Donington Park and will be in the GTA class.

Team HARD. Racing Managing Director Tony Gilham is pleased to see Callum back in the driving seat with the team. “Callum is a very likeable guy and I’m glad that we’ve been able to help him get back on the grid in 2019.

Callum had a strong season in 2018 driving one of our Volkswagen Golf Gti’s last season in a campaign that saw him get stronger and stronger as the season progressed.

This weekend will present a new challenge for Callum who will be mastering a rear-wheel drive race car for the first time. He has some fantastic teammates to learn off and I have full confidence that he can hit the ground running and help our championship charge.”

This is the first full season Team HARD. Racing has entered the GT Cup series. The team had a great debut three weeks ago at Donington Park taking all but one class win over the weekends racing. The opening weekends display demonstrated that the Ginetta is a proven package in the series.

Jenkins is looking forward to getting back behind the wheel of racing machinery this weekend. “I’m really excited to have the opportunity to be racing in the GT Cup with Team-HARD. Racing. I have aspired to do GT racing since I began racing and I am grateful for the support that the team has provided to progress me through the ranks to get me to this stage.

Taking over the #79 car is big shoes to fill after their clean sweep of wins at Donington but I’ve been doing all that I can to make sure I hit the ground running and carry on the team’s great form, it’s going to be a great weekend.”

Team HARD. Racing currently sit 4th and 6th in the overall standings after a solid debut weekend which yielded six wins and a further two podiums in the GTH and GTA classes of the series. The GT Cup championship is available to watch LIVE on Facebook and Youtube with two one-hour races taking place on both Saturday and Sunday (11th-12th May).

Media Accreditation: Avit Media

Kris Prosser Enters GT Cup in the Team HARD. Racing #79 Ginetta

Kris Prosser Enters GT Cup in the Team HARD. Racing #79 Ginetta

The 2018 Britcar Sprint Champion Kris Prosser joins Team HARD. Racing for the second round of the GT Cup championship which takes place mext weekend on the Snetterton 300 circuit, Norfolk. Kris will be at the wheel of the #79 Ginetta G55 Supercup car that currently sits 4th in the championship standings after the open round at Donington Park.

The Motorsports Technology graduate is looking forward to joining a race winning team. “I’m very excited to be joining Team Hard. Racing at Snetterton in the GT Cup Championship. I’ve been focusing on completing my degree at the University of Hertfordshire over the last few months and it’s going to be great to jump back in the driving seat with a winning team and with a clear mindset.

I’ve not driven the Ginetta G55 Supercup car before but with plenty of rear wheel drive experience in 2018 I’m sure I’m going to fit right in.

After the highs of last season, I’m looking forward to picking up some more silverware this time around as well!”

2019 has seen the team enter a full season in the GT Cup for the first time. The team had a one-off entry last season and claimed the race win with Adam Hatfield at the wheel of the teams Ginetta G55. The Ginetta is a proven package in the GT Cup after a strong outing at the opening round of the series at Donington.

Team HARD. Racings GT Team Manager, Elliot Wood, is optimistic that the #79 car will once again be at the front of the pack this weekend. “I am very excited to be working with Kris at upcoming round of GT Cup action. We competed against him last year in the Britcar Sprint series where Kris showed some very good pace and competitiveness!

Kris has been on our radar for a couple of years now and we are looking forward to seeing what his experience will bring to the Team HARD. Racing stable!

He is no stranger to rear wheel drive; we have seen numerous wins in the BMW in the Britcar series last season and we are confident that Kris and the Ginetta will be like a duck to water.”

Team HARD. Racing currently sit 4th and 6th in the overall standings after a solid debut weekend which yielded six wins and a further two podiums in the GTH and GTA classes of the series. The GT Cup championship is available to watch LIVE on Facebook and Youtube with two one-hour races taking place on both Saturday and Sunday (11th-12th May).

Media Credit: Avit Media

Donington disappointment turns to delight in pit-lane to podium bounce-back

Donington disappointment turns to delight in pit-lane to podium bounce-back

Max Coates scored a podium finish in the Renault UK Clio Cup at the weekend in the championships second event of the season held at Donington Park. It wasn’t without a mixture in fortunes for the Yorkshireman who experienced a number of setbacks during the weekend.

The early championship leader qualified his Primex Plastics and RPC bpi PLASgran car second on the grid for the weekends two races as conditions dried out at the Derbyshire venue. It wasn’t all plain sailing however, as tape covering an air vent to prevent the windscreen steaming up in wet conditions was left on when he switched to slick racing tires for the qualification session. Whilst no competitive advantage was gained Coates and two other cars were excluded from the results of qualifying for a ‘technical infringement’. The penalty meant starting from the back of the grid with a 10 second penalty.

Whilst Coates pace was evident, he had a lot of work to do to propel his Harron Homes and Polydist sponsored car into a strong finishing position. Electing to start from pit-lane negated his 10 second penalty, Coates, significantly helped by an early safety car, romped through the field to sit in 3rd place on lap eight. Coates luck was certainly out, a stone hit his auxiliary belt at just the wrong point causing it to snap and the engines water pump to stop working. The engines temperature soared and forced the RMB Automotive and Bennett Renault backed car into retirement.

Coates had to start from the pit-lane again in race two and this time, live on ITV4, he had to do the work all himself. Without safety car help he scythed through to third on lap ten having run side by side for several corners with various drivers. With four laps to go Coates set about trying to get fastest lap in the final stages as he held on to his podium finish to the chequered flag.

Afterwards Coates said “It’s been a weekend of disappointment, the punishment in qualifying put us firmly on the back foot and knowing we had the pace to challenge for the lead and not being able to do so is very frustrating. I felt like a second place may have been on the cards in race one but it wasn’t to be, it’s our first mechanical retirement in three and a bit years in the Clio Cup which is testament to my mechanics abilities as this one was purely down to ‘bad luck’. I had a lot of fun battling through the field and I am definitely looking forward to pushing for race wins at my home race at Croft. I’d like to thank all my sponsors for their support throughout the weekend and hope I repaid theirs, and Team HARD’s efforts with the podium result.”

The championship now enters a month and half break before it’s next rounds at Croft, North Yorkshire, on the 15th / 16th June. Max will compete in the Britcar Endurance Championship with DAT Racing in the break at the Brands Hatch Indy circuit and GP version of the Donington Park circuit on the 11th May and 1st June respectively. He is also set to announce the return of his ‘sponsor a tyre’ sponsorship scheme where local business can get onboard for the local round of the championship.

Max Coates – Team Hard – Clio Cup

Photo credit: Jakob Ebrey

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