Team HARD has made the first move in the driver market this off-season, today confirming reigning VW Cup champion Bobby Thompson as its first signing of the 2018 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship.
20 year old Thompson will be entering his third season with the team, but his first in the BTCC.
"Bobby is an outstanding young talent and we’re excited to see how he fares against the top touring car drivers in the country,” said Team HARD principal Tony Gilham.
"We have a very strong package and we are improving all the time as a team.
“He has already proven to us that he has what it takes to compete at the very top and it is great to have got this deal done very early to give us the maximum amount of time to prepare over the winter. It is a big step up but one that we believe he is more than ready for and have no doubt that he will do us proud."
"I have had a fantastic year winning the VW Racing Cup and now Team HARD has given me the opportunity to step up to the BTCC,” said Thompson. "I’m absolutely over the moon, it’s been my dream for as long as I can remember.
"I never had any intentions on trying to get to Formula 1 or anything like that, it’s always been touring cars and it’s always been the BTCC.
"It’ll be a big step up, I’m sure of that, but I think we’re ready for it – we know what to expect," Thompson added.
"We had a test last year at Snetterton and it was amazing how much more grip there was available than in the VW Cup car. It’s more demanding and I’m already working on my fitness.
“I’ve had three years with Tony really, starting back in 2015 in the VW Cup. I had a good year, finishing seventh or so in my first season then I topped it off last year. I'm so grateful to the team for making it possible and helping us to get on the grid and I’m pleased to have the chance to stay loyal. I can’t wait to get underway!"
Gilham added: "It is testament to the whole team and the unique concept that we have created, that enables us to be able to work with our drivers in this way and provide what is now the complete ladder all the way to the top level of British motor sport.
"In what is a very tough industry, what we have makes it possible for racing drivers like Bobby to achieve their life-long ambitions and more importantly, with the same team.”
A special ‘Diamond Double’ race has today been announced as part of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship’s 60th anniversary diamond jubilee celebrations in2018.
The third race at Snetterton on Sunday 29July will be an extended 60-mile contest, with all cars competing without any success ballast and with double championship points on offer.
Adrian Flux Subaru Racing's Ashley Sutton has won the 2017 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship after a dramatic day of racing at Brands Hatch.
The 2017 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship will go down to the wire at Brands Hatch in two weeks’ time after a sensational penultimate race day at Silverstone saw the title picture take a number of twists and turns.
PMR Vauxhall driver Tom Chilton is top miss the next round of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship after being unable to get medical clearance following a routine operation.
The 32-year-old, who returned to the BTCC this season after a five year absence, went under the knife last week to have gall stones removed, but has not received medical clearance to race next weekend.
Excitement in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship is at fever-pitch today, Sunday, 27th August, with the official confirmation Handy Motorsport is bringing the legendary Alfa Romeo brand back to the UK’s biggest and best motor racing series.
Making huge waves in the BTCC paddock, today’s announcement during the eighth race meeting of the current season at Rockingham in Northamptonshire marks a major development for top team Handy as it joins forces with the Alfa Romeo Dealer Council to reunite the championship with one of the globe’s most popular automotive marques.
Team BMW’s Colin Turkington moved to the top of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship standings after scoring a podium hat-trick at Knockhill.