Caine replaces Smiley at Team HARD

Michael Caine is to replace Chris Smiley at Team HARD for the rest of the 2016 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship season.

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The 46 year old former British GT champion will take over the car from this weekend's races at Snetterton in Norfolk.

Caine has previously raced as a substitute driver for Motorbase in the BTCC, most recently at Croft in 2013. His move to Team HARD will reunite him with Jake Hill, who was also at Motorbase that weekend.

Caine had been working as the driving standards advisor to the race stewards during the first half of the season.

Smiley, who was making his BTCC debut this season, had had a disappointing start. A best race finish of 16th means he has failed to score any points so far. He will stay with Team HARD, racing in the Clio Cup.

“We want to be clear that we are still very much involved with Smiley,” said Team HARD boss Tony Gilham.

“Chris is an amazing driver, as everyone will see in Clios, but unfortunately the promised funds and support never came and so the off-track distraction hampered his progress and also development with the car.

“Due to him being let down he has been up against it from day one and therefore unable to showcase what he can really do.

“We’re absolutely delighted to welcome Michael Caine for the rest of the year, who can help push the car forwards.

“Michael has vast experience and has shown with Motorbase that he can secure results in both GT racing and the BTCC. We’re all looking forward to working together.”

“Michael is the perfect fit for us,” concluded Gilham. “Having someone of his capabilities onboard will only help push us further.”