Best placed finish for Team HARD in the BTCC at Brands Hatch

Best placed finish for Team HARD in the BTCC at Brands Hatch

Team HARD scored their best placed finish in the BTCC with a 2nd placed finish by Jake Hill in the 2nd round of the Championship at Brands Hatch last weekend.

Going into the races the Team HARD drivers had managed to qualify their VW CC’s in 22nd (Mike Bushell) 25th (Jake Hill) 27th (Bobby Thompson) and 30th (Michael Caine) after a very close qualifying session where the top 30 drivers were covered by just 0.921 seconds.

In the opening race Mike Bushell retired early after unfortunate contact with teammate Jake Hill. Bobby Thompson and Michael Caine had solid first races to start their campaign. Both managed to make up a number of positions and finished 19th and 21st respectively.

The second race of the day was where all the action happened. The rain had just eased off and there was a decision to make whether to go on wets or risk slick tyres. Mike Bushell and Jake Hill took the gamble to go with slicks. Up until the 10th lap the track was still favouring the wet shod cars but a dry line started to appear and the slicks shod cars were able to scythe their way through the field. Hill and Bushell were on a charge. Hill’s cause was helped with a coming together between Moffat and Proctor that demoted Moffat down the order. As the laps came down Hill kept pushing for the win. In the end he had to settle for 2nd place which was greeted with immense emotion in the Team HARD garages. With Mike Bushell bringing his VW CC in 8th position it was a double celebration for the team. Michael Caine scored another solid 24th position while a mechanical fault brought Bobby Thompson’s race to a premature end 5 laps from the finish.

After the frantic finish of the second race, the team were brought down with a bump in race 3 with Moffat making contact with Jake Hill on the warm up lap causing damage to the rear toe link of Jake’s car that meant he was destined to finish 3 laps down after the team had made some repairs.

After the heroics of Jake in the 2nd race it was time for Mike Bushell to step forward. ‘Bomber’ Bushell didn’t disappoint with a robust drive that saw him take a well earned 5th place and the lead in the Dunlop ‘Forever Forward’ award, which rewards drivers for the number of places that they have made up during the race weekend. Continuing his solid results, Michael Caine scored a 24th placed finish while Bobby Thompson finished 26th. Jake Hill was classified 29th, 3 laps down.

Drivers Championship

Mike Bushell 10th – 19 pts
Jake Hill 12th – 17 pts
Bobby Thompson 26th – 0 pts
Michael Caine 29th – 0 pts

Teams Championship

Trade Price Cars with Brisky Racing 3rd – 36 pts
Team HARD with Trade Price Cars 19th – 0 pts

Independent Drivers

Mike Bushell 8th – 22 pts
Jake Hill 10th – 20 pts
Bobby Thompson 19th – 0 pts
Michael Caine 20th – 0 pts

Independent Teams Championship

Trade Price Cars with Brisky Racing 3rd – 37 pts
Team HARD with Trade Price Cars 14th – 11 pts

Jack Sears Trophy

Mike Bushell 5th – 33pts
Jake Hill 8th – 28 pts
Michael Caine 9th – 21 pts
Bobby Thompson 13th – 14 pts

Driver Quotes:

Jake Hill

Jake Hill Team HARD

“Qualifying was frustrating, and race one saw contact with my team mate Mike (Bushell) which was tough. But on the grid for race two my team manager Jamie and I said over the radio ‘On three say which tyres…3-2-1- ‘SLICKS’….!!!! So we went for it.”

“Oh my word that was CRAZY! We decided last-minute to go to slicks, it was always going to be sketchy, but very early on I knew we’d made the right choice. The car was mega, I had a look at passing both Proctor and Moffat but they were so defensive so it wasn’t worth the risk. I am beyond happy! I am so, so grateful to so many people who have helped me get to this point – obviously the legendary Tony Gilham and the boys at Team HARD, especially Geoff (Kingston) and Jamie, Josh, Carl, Nathan and Gary who have been on my car….my amazing supporters. I have to say I would not be racing in anything – let alone BTCC – without their help.

I’m worried I will forget someone – but my 2018 partners Rolec Racing, Trade Price Cars, the awesome Richard Wheeler from Brisky Racing, Ecoflam, Danfoss, Bill Rawles Classic Cars, AWS Appliance Spares, Scoria Tech, Zynth, Jakob Ebrey Photos, Spine Optics, P1 Nutrition, Tech Max Pro Gear, Torq, Luke at the BRDC,….but the one person who has been with me since the beginning, from Ginetta Juniors in 2010 to now and has never, ever let me down is my ‘Papa Smurf’…John Miskin from Sportif Motor Group…..I am so unbelievably grateful for everyone’s love and support ……Tony Gilham and the whole Team HARD crew have believed in me since 2016, I love this team, I love Tony, Gary, Jamie, Sam and everyone…David Boor and Andrea and the Fantham family and the whole crew are amazing! I am so HAPPY!!!!!!”

Mike Bushell

 

Mike Bushell Team HARD

“I wanted to arrive this year as a different Mike Bushell and I think I’ve proved that in winning the first Forever Forward award and almost scoring a maiden podium on my BTCC return. I’ll be continuing my ‘no fear’ approach from this weekend onwards”

“The car is perfect, I’m comfortable in it. I’m already quick, but as I learnt from winning two Clio Cup titles… I need to smooth out my rough edges and learn what precision means in the BTCC”
Michael Caine

Michael Caine Team HARD

“For me it was a great weekend ! I am still learning the car and starting to understand what I need from it ! I can’t thank everybody at Team HARD enough for the way they looked after my family and sponsors ! I think it’s going to be a great year.”

Bobby Thompson

Bobby Thompson Team HARD

“I won both VW Cup races and set a new VW Cup lap record at Brands last season, said Bobby. “I knew I wouldn’t be in a position to repeat those results on my first BTCC weekend and although not everything went exactly as planned, the day as a whole was truly unforgettable.”

“Physically I am fine as I train in the gym two hours a night but nobody can really make you understand how demanding the BTCC is until you experience it. Apart from the three races you have the autograph session, the drivers parade and the team’s own Question and Answer session in their hospitality unit for all our sponsors and because Tony (Gilham, Team HARD principal) makes sure that as many fans and supporters can see inside the garage there are always lots of well-wishers and fans who want to chat and wish you luck.”

“For MY first weekend it has been incredible. I have had so much support from the fans and I know that I will be a lot stronger at Donington Park for the next three races just because I have had the whole BTCC ‘race weekend’ experience under my belt. But I also know that the team have a really good package that is capable of being on the podium as we proved today with Jake (Hill) and I’ll be pushing harder than ever for stronger results next time.”

Tony Gilham

“It’s been a lot of hours, a lot of time, a lot of hard work,” explained Gilham. “So today has been emotional – they are essentially four brand new cars – there’s very little remaining from last year’s car. We rolled the dice a little bit with the chassis changes but we trust in our engineering team and it’s paid dividends out the box.

It was a decent start to the year at one of our weakest circuits. So it’s been a good weekend. We had a little bit of a lucky break, but it was also an educated risk to go for the slick tyre in race two so it’s nice to take that risk and for it to pay off.”

Second British GT entry for TeamHARD

Second British GT entry for TeamHARD

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.