Gilham back in the hotseat for Brands Hatch
Team HARD boss Tony Gilham delivered a point on his BTCC return at Silverstone and he’s now confirmed that he’ll drive the squad’s Toyota Avenis at the Brands Hatch season finale next weekend (10/11 October).
Unscheduled repairs at a substantial expense forced regular racer Kieran Gallagher out of action on the eve of the penultimate event, which led to Gilham contesting his first BTCC race weekend since 2012.
The Kent-based driver impressively qualified within a second of Mat Jackson’s pole position time, but faced an early setback on Sunday when a gearbox glitch forced him off the grid ahead of the opening race.
Undettered, Gilham spent the rest of the day edging his way towards the points paying positions. He came from the back of the grid to finish 20th in the second contest and then made further progress in the final showdown.
Sandwiched as part of a great battle with Martin Depper’s Honda and Rockingham podium man Josh Cook, Gilham was able to eventually hold off the latter to claim a hard earned 15th position. It was a decent performance from Gilham and a result that equalled the car’s best finish of the season.
“We were always up against it having had very little running in an NGTC car, and admittedly I was very nervous after three years away,” said Gilham. “You always worry that you may have been left behind but in truth I was happy with the pace.
“We made big steps forward with the car throughout the event and ended up very much on the front-running pace. We are quite a way behind the bigger teams in terms of finances and development, but we were on the money come the end of the weekend.”
Gilham has now confirmed he will also race at Brands Hatch for the season finale next weekend – a home event for him and his team.
“Following the successful Silverstone weekend, we are now very excited to be getting back in the hot seat at Brands Hatch,” he concluded. “At least I have more time to get ready for Brands as we had very little time to prepare mentally and physically ahead of Silverstone.
“The preparation time will hopefully help us concentrate on trying to unlock that last bit of performance.
“Brands Hatch is our local circuit and a fitting way to end the season in front of the home crowd.”