British Touring Car Championship race winner Paul O'Neill will race for Team HARD. at Knockhill later this month.
The fan favourite will use the Vauxhall Insignia piloted by Robb Holland at Snetterton last weekend and prior to that by James Cole, until he quit after Croft.
Currently O'Neill's deal is for one-weekend only, although Team HARD. boss Tony Gilham is 'hopeful' it will be the start of a 'longer relationship'.
“It's great having someone like Paul in the car and we'd love to work with him in the long-term,” Gilham told btcc.net
. “He's a real fans' favourite and Team HARD has a good following too, so we believe it will be a perfect match. It's only a one-off deal at the moment but let's see what the future brings.”
O'Neill meanwhile is looking forward to getting back behind the wheel and has thanked ITV
for its support: “I am delighted to be back in a Touring Car and to be invited to do so is even more flattering,” he stated. “My ITV
commitments come first this season but they've been really supportive about this opportunity. We all feel it should provide an insightful spectacle for the TV viewers too, so I am really thankful to Tony and everyone involved.”
“It's going to be extremely tough as I haven't driven the car before and I haven't had any testing this year, so it'll be different and more challenging than say when I jumped in the Toyota last season,” O'Neill continued. “I don't want to put too much pressure on myself in terms of results but seeing what Robb Holland did with the car last weekend then I'd like to think I could be knocking on the door of the top ten.
"Obviously if I could do that in race two then I'd stand a chance of being up front for the final race, which would be absolutely fantastic.”