Following a very successful debut British GT campaign culminating in the team championship, Team HARD. Racing and very proud to announce the second of their pairings of Michael Caine and Mike Newbould.
We feel it is another strong partnership that we have managed to put together as we defend our title and look to compete for the pro/am title too in 2017.
Michael is a very successful racing driver having previously raced in the British GT between 2001 and 2007 before moving on to compete in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB where he finished as runner up twice. Michael was to become the British GT Champion in 2012 and will now return to the Championship in the GT4 category at the wheel of a brand new Ginetta G55 built to the latest specification.
Michael added “After the 2016 went pear shaped, I’m really looking forward to competing in a championship again. Last year was the first time in 26 years of racing that I didn’t have a championship to compete in and then the guys at team hard gave me an opportunity in British Touring Cars that unfortunately didn’t really get started. I think we have a good chance this season and GT4 looks like it’s the future. Mrs Caine is also very happy as it gets me out the house and she has also been told that the end of year bash is in Paris!”
Michael is no stranger to the team having raced alongside us in the Carrera Cup GB as well as competing in the British Touring Car Championship for us in 2016 before an unfortunate injury curtailed his season early.
Tony Gilham said “It is great to have secured the services of Michael for the coming season as he brings so much to the table both on and off track. He is a seasoned professional and can only add strength to the team as a whole. We are very excited to see how he develops his relationship with Mike throughout the season and feel that there is a genuine possibility of the pro/am title. Mike hasn’t had much seat time so far but with such an experienced partner to learn from we look forward to seeing how he progresses”
Mike joins the team for 2017 after recently sampling one of our BTCC car’s from 2016 and having competed in the Ginetta Supercup last season as well as some seat time in a prototype car. Mike is a very capable driver and will look to work with Michael to further develop his ability as a racer and build on his relative inexperience.
Mike added “I am incredibly excited to be part of Team HARDs British GT campaign for 2017. I can’t thank Tony enough for putting this together, the opportunity to race along side Michael is fantastic for a new driver. I am really looking forward to drawing on Michaels skill and experience to help me develop as a racer in what is going to be a busy and exciting year ahead in British GT.
The new cars are currently in build at the Ginetta factory and we look forward to collecting them in the coming weeks to begin our test programme ahead of what we hope to be a very successful second year in British GT.
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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Will Burns will make the next step in his blossoming racing career next season after signing a deal to graduate into the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship with front-running outfit Team HARD.
The 2016 Michelin Ginetta GT4 Supercup vice-champion will compete in one of the team’s newly acquired trio of Volkswagen CC’s, an established, multiple race-winning car in the championship over the last few years.
Burns makes the step up to the BTCC after five successful seasons in one-make Ginetta competition, being crowned the vice-champion in the GT5 Challenge in 2013, before repeating the feat in the Supercup this season.
The Weston-Super-Mare racer took the championship fight down to the final race of the year courtesy of seventeen podium finishes including three race wins, before going on to test BTCC machinery for the first time last month at Snetterton.
Burns made a positive first impression behind the wheel of the Toyota Avensis campaigned by Mike Epps in this year’s championship, producing encouraging lap-times in variable weather conditions across the day.
The 26 year old is Team HARD’s first confirmed driver for the 2017 BTCC season, with the move coming thanks to continued support from Cases Ltd, Eurocams, MH Automation and Absolute Plastering Services.
Will Burns: “I am absolutely delighted to be stepping up to the British Touring Car Championship. I’ve watched the championship since I was a child, and when I started racing back in 2011 I could have never imagined I’d be on the grid.
“I’m under no illusions as to the size of the challenge ahead, the BTCC is the pinnacle of British motorsport and it’s going to be a steep learning curve for me, but I really can’t wait to get the season started at Brands Hatch in April.
“I’m excited to be part of Team HARD’s exciting plans for the 2017 season. I really enjoyed my first test with them last month, they are a really talented, professional team and it’s going to be great to work with them next season.
“The Volkswagen CC is a proven race-winning car in the series and I’m confident that we will have a very competitive package heading into next season. I’m looking forward to getting to grips with the new car as soon as possible.
“Thank you to all my sponsors for their continued support, to Tony Gilham and Team HARD for the opportunity, and also to Douglas Motorsport and Ginetta for giving me the platform to show what I could do this year, which helped me get to this exciting next stage of my career.”
The BTCC is the highest profile motor racing series in the United Kingdom, drawing in trackside crowds of on average over 37,000 each meeting, as well as over twenty million television viewers across the season through the live, free-to-air coverage on ITV4.
A staple of the British racing scene for nearly sixty years, the BTCC is enjoying a golden period at present, with Burns set to race against the best saloon car talents in the country as part of an expected capacity 32 car grid next season.
Tony Gilham (Team Principal): “We have been talking to Will and his family for a few months now and have already formed a great relationship. We share the same drive and ambition as well as Will being an amazing up and coming talent. We are genuinely excited about 2017 for a number of reasons and that includes the potential that Will has shown in the last few years as well as in his first ever taste of front wheel drive machinery at the recent Snetterton test.
We have known the capabilities of the Passat CC for a few years now having originally introduced them to the grid in 2013 and seeing its progress and success over the years proving it as a race winning car. We are very confident that we have a very competitive package for the year ahead and look forward to working with Will on and off track to continue his development and rise to the very top. ”