Scottish racer Kieran Gallagher is to join the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship grid for his home round of the season at Knockhill.
The 23-year-old, who only earned his racing licence twelve months ago, will drive the Team HARD. Vauxhall Insignia that was raced by American Robb Holland at Snetterton.
Gallagher's move into the BTCC with Tony Gilham's team comes on the back of an outing in a Team HARD.-run Volkswagen Golf in the VW Cup meeting at Spa, where he took an eleventh place finish.
While he will go into the weekend with a lack of experience of the NGTC-spec Vauxhall, Gallagher will be able to count on extensive knowledge of the Knockhill circuit, with much of his racing having come at the venue in the Scottish Legends series.
“I'm improving all the time but of course this is just amazing,” he said. “A year ago I was just excited to be in a motor race, and then to be leading a Legends race was a great milestone too, but moving up so quickly to drive a BTCC car is unbelievable.
“Knockhill was the main selling point and although it's beyond my wildest dreams I won't be racing just for fun. I've watched Jason Plato racing on TV for years and Gordon Shedden gave me one of my trophies last season, so for sure it'll be a little surreal to be in the same race as guys like that, but I cannot wait and I hope to make the most of the opportunity.”
Team boss Gilham said he was pleased to be able to give Gallagher the chance to make his BTCC debut.
“We're living our dreams, so why not help in making someone else's come true,” he said. “It's a one-off deal at the moment and we're realistic in our targets, but it would be great to pick up a points finish over the weekend. It's a great opportunity for him to race at his local circuit and we're all very excited about it.”