TEAM HARD. RACING PLEASED WITH PROGRESS IN CUPRA’S MAIDEN CAMPAIGN
Team HARD. Racing concluded its 2021 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship campaign at the squad’s – and driver Jack Mitchell’s – home circuit of Brands Hatch last weekend (23/24 October) as the Kent-based team brought the Cupra’s maiden year in the BTCC to a close.
Drivers Jack Goff, Aron Taylor-Smith, Nic Hamilton and Mitchell headed into the weekend optimistic of good results on the 2.43-mile circuit, with Goff’s top ten finish in race three a real highlight after a trying day.
Jack Goff said: “It was a typical Sunday for us, as of recently. We seem to have far more pace compared to the pack on a Sunday than we do on a Saturday. We improved the car once again in all three races and it was nice to end the day with eighth following 11th in race two.
“It feels a shame for us to be ending the year now, but we can go into the winter knowing we finished on a reasonable high.
“I would just like to say a huge thank you to all of my partners who make racing possible, along with everyone at Team HARD. who have pushed so hard all year!”
Árón Taylor-Smith said: “Brands GP has always been a really kind track to me; I was full of optimism going into the weekend. The chassis around the Grand Prix track is one of the best touring car chassis I’ve ever driven, and I felt it only getting better as the weekend went on. It’s no secret that we’re looking forward to a change in engine package in 2022, and I firmly believe it’ll make us significantly more competitive.
“My day was marred by a few little incidents in races one and two, but that’s touring cars and you can’t escape it sometimes! Race three was significantly better, coming from outside the top 20 into the points, and running nose to tail with manufacturer team and multiple race winners Team BMW. This goes to show the Cupra has that calibre of being at the front. We saw this with Jack [Goff] as well; he was very competitive this weekend, and I think if we had the opportunity to start further up the grid the two of us could have worked together and cracked into the top five.
“The results don’t justify how quick the car was, but that’s why people love the touring cars – much like myself! We’ll be significantly better off the back of the weekend. I’m leaving happier with how it ended and looking forward to what 2022 will bring.”
Jack Mitchell said: “It was a difficult day in the office at my home circuit, and not the result we were looking for. The balance of the car changed massively from qualifying which made race one very difficult.
“My Engineer, Jeff, did a great job changing the setup over races however to improve the car. In race three the handling was brilliant, and we were in a points position until we suffered contact with another driver. Very gutted as it’s now how you want to end any race never mind the season, especially as I’ve just started getting up to speed.
“However, I’m pleased with the improvements we made. We’ll hopefully be back next year for some more action on the grid!”
Reflecting on the campaign, Team Owner, Tony Gilham added: “Developing the Cupra has come with its challenges. However, the quick progress we’ve made on the BTCC grid this season has shown its potential to bring home well-deserved victories.”