Jake Hill is to stay with Team HARD for 2017, after scoring the team's best ever finishes in his first full season of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship last year.
The Kent-based 22 year old is the third and final driver to be announced for the team, with few vacant seats remaining the BTCC grid.
Having raced in the BTCC-supporting Ginetta Junior and GT Supercup, and Porsche Carrera Cup series in the past, 2016 was Hill's first full season in Britain's premier championship.
Despite racing one of the oldest cars on the grid, Hill achieved several decent results including sixth at Croft and fifth at Silverstone. But poor reliability and the car's lack of pace meant he finished the season only 17th in the championship standings
For 2017 Team HARD has replaced its ageing Toyotas with three Volkswagen CCs, including the car which took Aron Smith to victory at Rockingham.
ITV's Paul O'Neill believe Hill will do even better in 2017.
“It’s fantastic to know I will be back with the team and continuing my journey with them,” said the 22-year-old. “I am hugely grateful to Tony (Gilham), RCIB Insurance, AutoAid Breakdown and TAG Industries for working to get me back on board for this season, and equally have some incredible support from Sportif Motor Group, Brisky Racing and are delighted to welcome our new partners Rolec Electrical Contractors.
“Last season I learned a huge amount and felt we made some strong progress. We worked really well as a team, and it’s really significant having continuity with the crew and the partners. It’s great to be racing the Passat CC, with the latest RML equipment, as I think it will be strong at lots of circuits. The aim is to get points regularly, try and qualify well and be in the mix at every event. We are all hugely ambitious, and both Mike (Epps) and Will (Burns) will be quick so I’m sure we will all push each other hard all season.”
Hill hopes to be testing the revitalised Passat soon and has his focus on arriving at the Season Launch in Donington Park on March 16th in the best possible shape for 2017.
“I am working hard to make sure I am ready, and we aim to get to Donington in March in great shape and hopefully competitive from the outset,” he concluded. “It’s going to be really tough and unpredictable but this year I have 30 races under my belt and that counts for a lot. It’s my birthday next month but I feel I have got a pretty special early present! Can’t wait!”