Gilham into the breach
Team HARD boss Tony Gilham will step into the Toyota Avensis of Michael Caine this weekend at Rockingham (27/28 August) following the withdrawal of the Newmarket racer from the event due to a back injury.
The 37-year-old Team Principal competed at the final two events last season, with a best of 15th spot at Silverstone, and is looking forward to stepping back into Dunlop British Touring Car Championship machinery, while ruing his driver’s misfortune.
“Michael’s had a flare up of an old back injury,” said Gilham. “It had previously been operated on and corrected, but he felt pain in race one back at Knockhill.
“It’s a shame for Michael and ourselves but it’s a long-term project with him and his sponsors as we look to 2017 and beyond.”
“I’ll be stepping into the breech for this weekend – you could definitely say I’ve been thrown in at the deep end!”
“These guys have been racing and testing all season and I haven’t been out in a racing car for the best part of 12 months.
“I raced the last two events of last season at Silverstone and Brands Hatch but since then I’ve done nothing.
“It’ll definitely be tricky but I’m looking forward to it – I always look forward to getting back into a racing car, especially a British Touring Car, and going racing again.”
Competing in a car born of his own stable, Gilham is hoping to do the outfit proud. In Jake Hill and Michael Epps, he has a couple of quick young talents in the fold to point the way.
“Driving a touring car in my colours is just going to be fantastic and I hope I can do myself, the car and the team some sort of justice.
“It’ll certainly be a weekend that’s a bit of a learning process for me. I’ll be working closely with our guys – Mike (Epps) and Jake (Hill) – to try and glean as much as I can before going out competitively in quali. They’ve been on it this season so they’ll be a real help.
“It would be nice to notch a point maybe, I’ll see what I can do. We’ll find out if there’s still a bit of life in the old dog yet!”