It brings the team great pleasure to announce a new partnership for 2019 with VIEZU Technologies Limited (https://www.team-hard.com/sponsors/viezu/), that will see the Automobile Tuning Specialist with a large presence on the teams race cars in 2019 which includes four BTCC VW CC’s as well as the teams GT and VW championship chargers. This new partnership will not only see VIEZU Technologies on the Team HARD. Racing cars but the team will also become a registered VIEZU Technologies tuning centre from February 2019. VIEZU Technologies provide the very cutting edge of vehicle tuning and ECU remapping which has been developed with over 20 years of hands-on experience.
Based in Bidford-on-Avon, VIEZU Technologies are a major player in the UK Automobile Tuning market but also has a presence internationally with centres in countries such as America, India and Australia.
Tony Gilham, Managing Director of Team HARD is thrilled to be working with such a prestigious brand. “It’s great to be working with the guys and girls from VIEZU Technologies this season. This partnership is about more then just sponsorship and brand awareness for both parties. I’m really excited about the Team HARD. Racing HQ becoming an established tuning centre. This provides another string to the teams bow as we continue to grow, and we will be announcing lots of exciting developments in the coming weeks both on and off track.”
Paul Busby, the CEO of VIEZU Technologies is thrilled and excited to be partnering with Team HARD. “The Team has shown extreme commitment and resilience in all its racing activities. Not only that, they are a warm and focused Team dedicated to winning.
Together VIEZU and Team HARD. have created the opportunity to be more than a brand-passive sponsor. VIEZU supports over 900 Vehicle Tuners worldwide and are privileged to be supporting Team HARD. As it expands it services in the Vehicle Tuning arena. VIEZU is the obvious choice for a partnered sponsor and Reassuringly Powerful auto-tuning solutions.”
Team HARD. Racing have grown from a single car operation to in excess of 40 cars and 50 drivers in just 5 years. This partnership is further indication of the rapid growth that the team is enjoying. By using Motorsport as an activation method for the teams ever growing business hub it presents itself as one of the largest networking events in the United Kingdom. Viezu Technologies are the latest organisation to gain benefits that Team HARD. Racing have to offer, and this season is one we are really looking forward to.
Team HARD. Racing are delighted to announce a new partnership programme with The Clever Baggers Limited (https://thecleverbaggers.co.uk/) that will see the specialist Textile Printing Company with a large presence on the teams 2019 BTCC VW CC’s as well as some of the other cars within the team, notably the VW Racing Cup. Founded in 2006, The Clever Baggers Limited have gone from strength to strength, employing over 30 staff members and provide an extensive range of 100% bio-degradable bags including, cotton bags, canvas and jute bags to name just a few. You can expect to see the company’s products on the team’s online store and at driver autograph sessions for the fans throughout the year; with a Team HARD. Racing twist of course.
Tony Gilham, Managing Director of the team, is looking forward to working with The Clever Baggers in 2019. “It is great to welcome The Clever Baggers back to the Team HARD. family having previously been involved with one of our drivers a couple of seasons ago. It is the perfect timing to build on our partnership as we enter what is going to be our biggest and hopefully best year to date with our continued expansion and improvements in all areas. There will be some very interesting and exciting things to come off the back of this for our followers and some promotional items available in the pitlane walkabout the fans.”
Vivian Lacey-Johnson, Managing Director of The Clever Baggers believes that a partnership with Team HARD will put his company’s products and environmental ethics in front of a previously untapped consumer demographic.
“I’m delighted to be working with Team HARD for the 2019 season. I’m a big fan of the BTCC and with over 35,000+ fans attending every weekend, I see this as a fantastic opportunity to raise awareness of how damaging single-use plastic is to the environment, and what products are available from my company to help reduce its use.
We can’t wait to get started with the biggest team on the BTCC grid!”
Team HARD. Racing have grown from a single car operation to in excess of 40 cars and 50 drivers in just 5 years. A small family team but now one of the biggest teams in British Motorsport. Motorsport for the team is an activation method which is essentially an extensive and varied business hub and one of the largest networking events in the United Kingdom. We have a dedicated team that work for our partners to deliver unrivalled value for money opportunities and head up what is a very unique concept. Our set up is a perfect platform for any brand and we are able to take the exposure and lead generation to a whole new level whilst introducing a far greater level of interaction and communication. The Clever Baggers are the next to gain the full benefits of what we have to offer. It’s going to be a great season.
Michael Crees will realise a lifelong dream next season as he lines up on the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship grid after signing a deal with leading squad Team HARD for his debut campaign in the biggest race series in the UK.
Less than three years since the Kent racer was standing on the banks as a fan watching the BTCC in action, Crees is now seizing the chance to take on some of the best touring car drivers and teams in the world in only his third season of motorsport competition.
With the support of his loyal sponsors, Crees has signed with experienced outfit Team HARD to race one of their Volkswagen CC’s, an established race-winning car in the series that he tested for the first time earlier this month at Snetterton in Norfolk.
The move continues Crees’ meteoric rise up the motorsport ladder, having won the Ginetta Racing Drivers’ Club title in his maiden car-racing campaign in 2017, before announcing himself to the BTCC paddock with a sensational display in the Michelin Ginetta GT4 Supercup last year.
In a series that has produced leading BTCC stars like Tom Ingram and Adam Morgan, the Broadstairs-based driver dominated the AM Class with a remarkable record of eleven race victories and eight other podium finishes across the twenty-three race campaign.
Crees highlighted his tremendous raw speed and exciting racecraft throughout the season, as well as an infectious personality that made him a popular figure throughout the paddock, with the media and crucially with the passionate BTCC fanbase.
Michael Crees: “My dream has become a reality! It has been a very difficult decision with what to do next year as I have so little experience in racing, but after winning two titles in two years of racing, we wanted to challenge ourselves in the hardest series in the UK.
“I want to thank Tony Gilham for taking a chance on us. Having spent the last couple of weeks working with and getting to know the team, how they work and our plans, it became clear this would be the right decision for the next chapter in my racing career.
“We share a lot of the same values and goals for the future so I’m very much looking forward to working with the team to see what we can achieve together. I can’t wait to get out this week and start a long, tough journey to becoming a successful BTCC driver.”
Crees is Team HARD’s fourth and final signing for the 2019 BTCC season, partnering with two-time Renault UK Clio Cup champion and BTCC top six finisher Mike Bushell, 2017 Volkswagen Racing Cup champion Bobby Thompson and fellow Ginetta GT4 Supercup graduate Carl Boardley.
The 35 year old competed with the team for the first time this past weekend at Brands Hatch, enjoying a successful debut in the Britcar Endurance Championship as he finished second in class and third overall alongside Sam Randon in an ex-BTCC Toyota Avensis.
Tony Gilham – Team HARD Boss: “We are very proud to welcome Michael to what we call our family. Michael is very much like us in the way he approaches his racing with his family support around him and his mindset to do the best job possible on track but to enjoy it off track too.
“That makes him a perfect fit to our set up and we have already seen the value that we can offer each other as a package. He is a very special talent and has had a meteoric rise to the top and we cannot wait to share the next chapter of our stories together.
“In what will be a huge year for the team, it will also be a very steep learning curve for Michael as he steps up to what is the pinnacle of British motorsport. That said we have all been very impressed with Michael on the recent test days.
“We’ll be working hard over the winter to ensure we’re as ready as we can be for the season ahead. There have been several changes to the team structure and personnel, and we are hoping to achieve great things together as this is a long term programme for us all.”
The BTCC celebrated its landmark 60th anniversary season in 2018 and showcased its status as one of the most exciting and competitive championships in the world, with no less than seventeen different race-winners across the thirty race campaign.
The highest profile motor-racing series in the UK, the BTCC attracts trackside crowds of on average over 37,000 per meeting across the country, has live terrestrial television coverage of every race on ITV4, and enjoys extensive media coverage and a large social media presence.
Article written by – Next Level Motorsport
It brings us great pleasure to announce that Rolec are remaining with the team for the 2019 season. Rolec were introduced to the Team HARD business hub in 2017 and since then both parties have never looked back.
Tony Gilham is pleased to already have another confirmed partnership for 2019. “We’ve been working with Rolec for a number of years now and I’m delighted to have put pen to paper on a deal to continue this partnership. Rolec have shared our journey over the years and both myself and Dean (Managing Director of Rolec) have identified how working together improves both businesses.
With the way 2019 is shaping up I’m looking forward to repaying Rolec for sticking by us last season when they were forced to make a tough decision. The end of 2018 was positive with many appearances in the top 10 and for 2019 we are expecting to be up the front consistently, which will give our partners even more exposure.”
Feeling optimistic, Dean Barrett added to Tony’s positivity. “I’ve built a close working relationship with Tony and the rest of the team over the past two seasons and it’s been fantastic. It was a no brainer to continue the partnership for another year, especially after seeing how they turned their BTCC season around at the end of 2018.
I personally think that Team HARD. provide the best hospitality on the grid and my customers love it. It’s great to give something back to them whilst improving my business opportunities thanks to the extensive business hub that Team HARD provides.”
Rolec is one of the first to sign up with the team for the 2019 season. Signing partners such as this so early into the winter break highlights what a fantastic position the team is in moving into 2019. Watch this space.
The penultimate weekend of the record breaking 60th anniversary Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship season may have been held at the home of British Motorsport but there were few home comforts for BRDC Rising Star Bobby Thompson who left Silverstone without adding to his points tally.
Prior to Sunday’s trio of 22-lap races around the fast, wide open blasts of the 1.64-mile Silverstone National circuit there was a considerable mood of optimism within Thompson’s #19 Team HARD with Trade Price Cars VW CC team, which sported a sleek new black livery for rounds 25, 26 and 27 of the 30-race 2018 Championship.
Not only was the 22 year-old Hornchurch based driver, known throughout the paddock as ‘Bobster’ returning to the site of his first career car racing podium, his slippery shaped VW CC was well suited to the track layout as was the case last month at the Rockingham Motor Speedway where the 2017 VW Cup Series Champion scored a BTCC career best 7th place finish.
However set up issues throughout Saturday’s two practice sessions and the crucial 30-minute timed qualifying period and contact from other drivers in two of Sunday’s three races left Thompson feeling frustrated despite finding considerable extra pace on race day.
“I can’t pretend to be anything other than really disappointed with the weekend as a whole,” commented the current BRDC Rising Star, who battled from 27th on the grid to 19th in race one despite stalling at the start and then suffering contact from another driver after fighting his way into 17th position, just two places shy of the points.
“We couldn’t quite get the sweet spot on the car during practice on Saturday and although we found some extra pace in qualifying, so did everyone else and while six tenths off pole position may not seem like much in the BTCC it is massive and around here with such a quick lap and only six corners it is more significant than anywhere else.
“I made a bit of a mess of my start in race one but we had changed so much on the car overnight that I could take advantage of the really good slipstream that you get here and pass a lot of cars,” continued Thompson who took advantage of a couple of other drivers retiring but had overtaken eight drivers on the road within the first 12 laps of an extended 25 lap race before being unceremoniously dumped out of contention at Luffield, dropping him back to 20th and out of the reach of the group battling for the final few points paying positions.
“I know what happened and I don’t want to point any fingers as I have a lot of respect of the person who basically just smashed me out of the way but I had passed him cleanly two corners earlier and was holding the inside line into Luffield when I just got sent flying. The hit broke our rear bumper, Ackerman plate and hurt the rear balance and the car was never the same after that.”
Luckily Thompson was able to continue and even regained one of his lost positions to take the chequered flag 19th and with his teammate Mike Bushell suffering a grid penalty for the second race, Thompson was promoted to a ninth row grid slot for a second race that should have brought home a decent haul of points nut instead brought nothing but more unnecessary damage to the #19 GKR Ltd backed machine.
“I felt that we were capable of getting some decent points in race two especially as we were on the soft tyre, which was the faster of the two options we had. I was going to be on the hard tyre for the third race so I knew that if I had a good run here I could maybe even get into the mix for the reverse grid for the final race which would help massively considering my tyre choice.”
Thompson made a much better getaway when the lights turned green but never got the chance to settle into a rhythm and continue his progress towards the points as a mirror image crash to that which he suffered in race one caused enough damage to the rear of the car to force him into early retirement.
“I lost two places on the first lap just because I didn’t want to get caught up in any of the bumping and barging that was going on and then as we arrived at Luffield I was hugging the inside line and out of the corner of my eye I caught a flash of red on the grass inside me and the next thing I know I’ve got two wheels in the air and a broken rear right tow link. I made it back to the pits but there was too much damage to continue and that was basically my weekend over as far as scoring points was concerned.”
For the second time in two races the #19 were faced with a flat out dash to get Thompson’s car ready for the third and final race of the day, for which he would start 31st on the less desirable harder tyre. Despite carrying a few battle scars Thompson made the grid for what was little more than a damage limitation exercise.
“Despite all the damage I had suffered the car still handled pretty well and I was able to pass cars while everyone was still bunched together,” concluded Thompson, who finished 21st and set the fifth fastest lap of the 13 drivers on the hard tyre in race three. “But there was still some really aggressive driving going on and there were a couple of situations where I had to stand my ground, which probably didn’t make me too popular with one or two people but it is frustrating when you catch people who would rather weave around and cost you both a second per lap rather than race and work together to catch the pack in front.
“I feel like I have raced everyone cleanly and with respect all year but even though I am a rookie in the BTCC I won’t be pushed around. I have got a great group of sponsors who all put their money into my racing and without them I would be working as a plumber with my dad. They have stayed loyal to me and when other people’s mistakes stop me from showing my potential and giving them the success that they deserve it can be massively frustrating so I had to get my elbows out and race others how they race me.”
Thompson returns to his home track at Brands Hatch for the final weekend of the 2018 season in two weeks’ time where he will look to improve on his current position of 28th in the overall points standings, 17th in the Independents Championship and 10th in the Jack Sears Trophy.
Team HARD. and Brisky Racing are very proud to announce that Mike Bushell will continue with the team in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship in 2019.
Following on from a much stronger second half of the season so far and off the back of a real solid performance at Silverstone, this is a clear statement of intent as the team look to continue their upturn in performance in to 2019. Topping the times in free practice and a top 5 qualifying time before the lap being taken away showed genuine pace and a drive up to 7th in race one before the 3rd strike and a back of the grid penalty for race two stood in the way of our push for silverware.
The CC has been extensively developed over the winter and throughout the season and we now believe we have a package to rival any other team and driver combination on the grid. We still have more to come and will be looking to build in certain areas where we need to in order to compete at the front consistently. We are still a young family team, but are very determined to succeed at the very top and in Mike we have the perfect driver to do that.
With the confirmation of new sponsor Fox Transport for Mike in 2019, we have been able to get a deal done early so we can really work hard in the coming months to hit the ground running come the start of the 2019 season.
Tony said, “Mike is an unbelievable talent and I have never met a more driven and ambitious driver in my life. He has extensive knowledge about the car and has been a real asset for the team in the engineering department. He is the complete package and one that we wanted to hold on to in our quest to be a top team in the best championship in the world. It is amazing for the team to have a deal in place already for 2019 and will enable us to improve in all the areas where we feel we can really work on over the winter.”
Mike added, “”I am delighted to be staying with the team for the 2019 season. After the struggles early on this year, hard work and the determination to not give up has rewarded us with strong pace and several great points finishes. Topping the timesheets at Silverstone in Free Practice was a real highlight, not to mention achieving the team’s best ever qualifying with 4th place at Rockingham. The key to success in the BTCC is consistency. I always look up to the likes of Tom Ingram and Speedworks who stick together, keep making progress and are now fighting for the overall driver’s title. I see Team HARD. as the perfect place to further my racing career as my relationship with the team goes beyond the race weekends and I have been able to be heavily involved with the preparation and engineering. We’ve become a family and every success is shared between us all. We’ve had some real flashes of speed this year and we have a great winter testing plan lined up to build on the solid package we have now. All of this would not be possible without the help of Tony Gilham and I look forward to rewarding the faith he has in me”
Tony continued “The whole team are behind Mike and we must say a huge thank you to every single person involved in what we are building. We have shown glimpses of pace but now it is time to take it to the next level.”