After 12 years of association with the Volkswagen Racing Cup, Team HARD. Racing today announces that they will be leaving the series with immediate effect. The team are currently reigning champions having taken the title in 2017 and 2018 with Bobby Thompson and Jamie Bond respectively. Team HARD. Racing Managing director Tony Gilham also took the crown in 2007, highlighting the team’s commitment and success in the series for several years.
It’s been a difficult decision for Tony who had the following to say on the decision. “This has been an incredibly tough decision for both me and the team. We have enjoyed amazing success over our time in the championship including three championship wins. The series has acted as the proving ground for our drivers with both myself and current BTCC star Bobby Thompson winning the championship before moving to the UK’s top Motorsport series, the BTCC.
Unfortunately, the evolution of the championship over the last couple of years has made it increasingly difficult for it to work commercially for us, our drivers and our partners. I’m disappointed for our drivers and partners that were due to compete in the series but after many discussions with them we are all in agreement that this step is to the benefit of all parties. Fortunately, because of the size of the team, we are able to look after our drivers and find solutions to move them into other championships in which we compete. Starting with this weekends GT Cup season opener.
I’d like to thank everyone that has been involved in the championship during our stay but it’s time that we parted company and go our separate ways. Whilst we are disappointed to have to leave the series, the silver lining is that we depart as back to back champions with Bobby Thompson and current champion Jamie Bond.
The future is bright for the team who had a total of 11 cars entered in various series in the TOCA supported British Touring Car Championship last weekend.”
The team’s recent scholarship programme will continue to go ahead with a new, bigger and better prize currently being worked on. The team will continue to specialise in Volkswagen cars with the production of it’s Edition 34 range and use of its Golf cup cars for corporate track days.
The team have a total of 40 cars entering in various series across the country in 2019 despite the news that they are withdrawing from the Volkswagen Racing Cup, leaving plenty of opportunities to see the team out on track!
Team HARD. Racing have teamed up with the GKR Scaffolding #BetterFuture programme to offer YOU the opportunity to win a fully funded works drive for the 2020 Volkswagen Racing Cup season. A Prize fund that is worth in the region of £100,000.
Following a very successful year in which we secured the championship win in the Volkswagen Racing Cup for the third time and for the second year in succession we have decided to run our scholarship programme again after a short break.
Win the opportunity to race in a Team HARD. VW Golf GTI R Wide body cup car fully race prepared and built to the latest specification.
A fully funded drive for the 2020 race season in the VW Racing Cup on a full arrive and drive basis to include championship entry, race entry fees, 10 test days throughout the season, all test and race fuel, fully qualified staff and support, race car hire and full tyre allocation
Full In-house management, sponsorship introduction and representation from Tony Gilham and Team HARD. Racing as part of our full driver development programme.
This Scholarship is open to anyone over the age of 16 with a senior race licence (no upper age limit) or anyone without a race license that holds a full UK driving license to try and find the next racing champion. However, if you currently hold a race licence please call to discuss your eligibility.
Tony Gilham of Team HARD, said: “I’m very proud to be running the Scholarship program again for 2020. The previous Scholarship went very well and we found some amazing talent and signed several drivers off the back of it.
Having worked my way up from the MR2 championship through the VW Cup, Porsche Carrera Cup GB and into the BTCC, I understand how difficult it is to get a start in motorsport. So, to be able to offer someone this opportunity is an absolute pleasure for us.
I will be one of the judges in the final and I cannot wait to help give someone their break in motorsport. We have learnt from the last time we ran the scholarship and this time round we will make sure it is bigger and better for everyone involved.
The VW Racing Cup is a perfect stepping stone to move up the saloon car racing ladder as we now have the complete journey available in house at Team HARD. Racing.”
The 2018 winner Ethan Hammerton has enjoyed great success taking multiple podiums in the Volkswagen Racing Cup before graduating to the UK’s premiere racing series, the British Touring Car Championship.
Ethan said “The Team HARD. Racing with GKR Scaffolding scholarship is a fantastic event and I wouldn’t be where I am today without it.
I learnt an array of skills from driving improvements to media interaction, it really is an extensive test and learning process. Thanks to Tony and the team I now have BTCC experience which 12 months ago I could only have dreamed of.
Winning the scholarship has enabled me to get my name on the Motorsport map and in doing have acquired many new sponsors and partners that are now helping me compete in the Renault UK Clio Cup series in 2019, with Team HARD. Racing of course.”
The top 3 drivers will all win a prize:
1st place will receive a fully funded season in the 2020 VW Cup Championship, their national B race licence (if required) and a full 12-month management programme.
2nd place will be given the opportunity to obtain their national B race licence (if required) and a full test day in a VW Cup car.
3rd place will be given the opportunity to obtain their national B race licence (if required) and take part on a Team HARD track day.
The competition will consist of a full day for each entrant at one of the UK’s top circuits (TBC). There will be on track driving assessments at the wheel of one of our VW Cup cars with professional instructors as well as a fitness/reaction test and a media exercise. The top 10 drivers from the competition over the week will be invited back for the final shootout on a suitable date for all finalists.
The price to enter this competition is £499.
For more information, dates and to pay the £250 (non-Refundable) deposit please call (01634) 712221. The balance will be due by a month before the competition takes place.
Please note there are limited spaces available (on a first come first served basis) and the days will be scheduled to suit each individual at the end of the 2019 season.
To reserve your place on our 2019 scholarship programme, follow the link below.
Joshua Jackson will return to the Volkswagen Racing Cup on a full-time basis in 2019 with the team. He joined the team for the Croft round in 2018 and was very impressive, qualifying 3rd on debut.
Joshua was one of the teams 2018 GKR #BetterFuture backed scholarship finalists before taking five wins in the opening six rounds of the MX-5 Super Series. The team also rewarded Joshua by drafting him into the teams British GT setup for rounds three, four and five of the series to partner Ben Wallace. The pair achieved two top 10 finishes which is no mean feat in a series littered with manufacture backed entries.
Managing Director of Team HARD. Racing, Tony Gilham was pleased to finally get this deal across the line. “Joshua is a fantastic talent who not only offers speed on track but a great deal of feedback off it.
Joshua was lightening quick in 2018 in both our Ginetta G55 and our Golf R which he will be driving again this term. With more track time this season I am confident that Joshua will be running up the front from the outset.
I think we have assembled the strongest driver line up the championship has ever seen for this season. All four of our drivers have a winning pedigree and we are aiming to dominate the championship this year.”
This will be Joshua’s first season competing in a front wheel drive car and he is relishing the challenge. “I’m looking forward to a new challenge for 2019 entering my first season in a front wheel drive car and what better championship to start with than the VW Cup.
Big thanks to Tony Gilham and Team Hard. Racing for the opportunity to join their fantastic team full time for 2019. With the team coming off the back of winning the championship for the last two years, it will be a great place for me to enter the championship.
The team has a great track record and all three team mates are previous race winners in the championship including the reigning champion. No doubt there will be a lot to learn, but I am looking forward to the challenge and hope to build on each race as the season progresses and hopefully be fighting towards the front during the season.
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank my partners Simon Woods of Garth Road MOT Centre who always believes in me; Brisky Racing and also Orange racing for supporting me; and Bodyclinic for getting me race fit.”
The signing of Jackson adds further competition within the teams Volkswagen Racing Cup line up for 2019. The team enter the series as back-to-back champions after securing the title with BTCC Graduate Bobby Thompson in 2017 and returning champion Jamie Bond last season. Joshua will be looking to make it a hat-rick of titles for the team in 2019 but faces stiff competition from his team-mates, let alone rival teams. It’s going to be a fascinating season.
Jamie Bond, the 2018 VW Racing Cup champion is to defend his title as he remains with Team HARD. Racing for the forthcoming season. Jamie has been with the team since 2016 and came 3rd in the championship in 2017 before winning the series last time around.
Managing Director of Team HARD. Racing, Tony Gilham worked hard to get Jamie back on the grid for 2019. “Jamie and the team work brilliantly together and winning the VW Racing Cup title was more then deserved last year. Jamie showed brilliant consistency on his way to the championship and even when times were tough, he stayed motivated and determined to win.
Seeing the number one car on a grid is very rare these days so to see number one on one of our cars is going to be a very proud moment for me and the whole team. We have been the team to beat for the last two years in the VW Racing Cup and we are aiming for a hat-rick of championships this time round. We have a fantastic team in the series, and I have full confidence that we will deliver the championship again, Jamie has every chance to claim another title.”
Team HARD. Racing have been at the forefront of the VW Racing Cup for a number of years, winning the series in 2007 (Tony Gilham), 2017 (Bobby Thompson) and 2018 with returnee Bond. Bond, who claimed three race wins en route to the title in 2018 is hoping build on lasts seasons dramatic title success.
“I’m really excited about returning to the Volkswagen Racing Cup this season to defend my title. It’s been a tough few months sorting trying to put everything together to get back onto the grid but with the help of my existing sponsors (Oakleaf Heating, Wrightsure Insurance and Fleet Livery Solutions) and Tony at Team HARD. Racing we have made it possible.
I have one aim this year and that is to win the championship. Last season was full of ups and downs but in the end, we came out victorious. I’m hoping with the hard work and changes that have been made over the winter period we can have a smoother run to the title in 2019.
I would like to thank Team HARD. Racing for getting me back onto the grid, without them this wouldn’t be possible. Oakleaf Heating has taken up the role as my title sponsor this season and I’m looking forward to working with all my existing sponsors for another championship assault.”
The news of Jamie returning to the VW Racing Cup as champions gives him the option of running the coveted number 1 on his car for 2019, something that he of course opted for. You can catch Jamie and the team defending their title LIVE on Facebook throughout the season with highlights being shown on Channel 4. Jamie is the one to beat in 2019.
LeeSan sets sights on VW Racing Cup victory in 2019, with continued sponsorship of Mark Wakefield through Team Hard Racing.
Lee Sanitation Ltd a Pump Technology group company, leaders in mobile welfare will be continuing throughout 2019 to support and sponsor Mark Wakefield through Team Hard racing.
The so far successful partnership between LeeSan and Team Hard, saw Mark Wakefield at P1 for 2 of the last 3 races of the VW Cup season.
LeeSan Director Karl Sutcliffe said ‘Mark showed great form towards the end of the season with a few brilliant wins including ‘Move of the year’ at Croft. This has excited us for what is in store for 2019, a real high to end the season, hopefully we will see more exhilarating racing with Mark firmly at the top of that order. I see a determined driver with bags of quality and look forward many more races in the VW Cup season calendar.’
Mark Wakefield a multiple race winner in 2018 is aiming for the title in 2019. ‘My 2019 aim is of course to win the Championship, from racing last year in the Championship I’m feeling confident in being a contender for the championship which is always a good thing to start off with. I’d like to thank LeeSan for staying onboard for 2019, I’m determined to reward them for their loyalty.’
Team boss Tony Gilham is happy to have both parties onboard after an encouraging 2018. ‘It’s great to have both Mark and Karl (LeeSan) back with us for 2019. Mark is a fantastic racer and I have every belief that he can win the championship next season.
I’m also excited to introduce LeeSan to some of our new partners to our extensive business hub and help Karl get a positive return on his investment with Mark. It’s going to be a brilliant year for everyone concerned.’
Mark will be back in action on April 22nd in the first round of the VW Racing Cup which is broadcast LIVE on Facebook.
For more information please visit the LeeSan website – www.LeeSan.com
Team HARD. Racing are delighted to announce that VW Racing Cup ace Mark Wakefield will continue to drive for the team in 2019.
Mark had a fantastic debut season with the team, picking up three pole positions and two race victories en route to ninth in the championship. If it wasn’t for a few issues with the car in the first half of the season he would have been in contention for the championship without a doubt.
Mark values consistency and is looking to push on in 2019. ‘Racing for Team HARD in the 2019 VW Racing Cup seemed like the right option for me, 2018 was a year of learning the car, we had a year of up and downs but towards the end of the season I started to show what I could really do! We left Donnington GP in September as a race winner and I’m hoping to keep that up going into the first round of 2019 at my home circuit Oulton Park.’
With a season under his belt Mark is planning on being in full attack mode in 2019 as he looks to challenge and win the series. ‘My 2019 aim is of course to win the Championship, from racing last year in the Championship I’m feeling confident in being a contender for the championship which is always a good thing to start off with.’
I’d like to thank Tony Gilham for the opportunity of driving for the team for another year and I can’t wait to get back out in the car after Christmas!’
Wakefield from Weaverham, Cheshire put in a string of positive finishes in the final third of the season including a stunning victory at Croft in August which saw him pull off the move of the season. This is something that impressed team boss Tony Gilham who has been impressed with Mark’s development over the course of 2018.
‘Mark is a fantastic driver to have in the team, he is a family man which fits perfectly with our team culture. I’ve been very impressed with Mark’s development in 2018 and he was the quickest driver on the grid come the end of the season with two victories in the final three races of the championship.
It’s not only his one race pace that has impressed. His race craft has been impeccable which was highlighted with his double overtake on Jamie Bond and Darren Lewis at Croft. It was one of the best overtakes I’ve seen in a long time. It’s a shame that we had some teething problems with the car in the first half of the season because without the issues, Mark would have been a strong contender for the title in his first season with us in the VW Racing Cup.”
I have full faith that Mark will be at the front of the pack from the first round in 2019, he has a real shot at the title and it’s down to us to provide him with a package which allows him to deliver.’
Team HARD. Racing move into 2019 as back to back champions of the series after Bobby Thompson and Jamie Bond won the championship with the team in 2017 and 2018 respectively.
Mark is the second driver to be confirmed with the team for 2019 after it was announced in November that Howard Fuller would be returning to the series with Team HARD.
You can see how Mark gets on in his pursuit for the 2019 crown by watching the VW Racing Cup LIVE on Facebook throughout the season with round 1 taking place April 22nd. Make sure you pencil in the date, Mark means business.