Gallagher joins Team HARD for BTCC return
Series Organiser TOCA can confirm that Team HARD has completed a deal to purchase a Toyota Avensis and a TOCA BTCC License (TBL) from United Autosports and subsequently plans to enter the 2015 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship.
The Kent-based outfit, which is operated by Tony Gilham, has promoted Kieran Gallagher to the driving seat having worked with the young racer for the last two seasons.
Gallagher has already sampled BTCC machinery having contested the event at Knockhill in 2013.
“I am over the moon to be fulfilling my lifelong dream of competing in a full BTCC season,” said Gallagher. “After driving the Insignia for Team HARD at Knockhill in 2013, I made it my ambition to someday race again in the series – to do it with Team HARD is awesome.
“As soon as Tony offered me the chance to join them for their return, I immediately said yes and literally cannot wait to get going. I know this is a big jump, but at the same time I feel I can learn very quickly and will want to get up to speed and fight as high up the grid as possible. It will be a huge learning year but I am more than up for the challenge”
Gilham plans to expand the operation and said that the team wants to build a long-term future in Britain’s premier series.
“This is a very exciting development for us and we plan to be in the BTCC for many years to come,” said Gilham. “Initially we will run the Avensis and we’ve seen glimpses of how quick the Toyota can be. We have a development programme planned, as well as the introduction of the TOCA control engine, so we feel you should see a marked improvement in results for the car.”
Team HARD first joined the BTCC back in 2012 in a privately run S2000 Honda Civic. The squad entered two Vauxhall Insignias the following season, as well as building and running two VW Passat CCs. The team has scored podiums with all three models.
“This is a totally new approach from us,” said Gilham. “We have gone back to being a family-run team and there are no outside influences this time. We are building this for the future.”