Jake Hill has secured his first full time drive in the British Touring Car Championship after signing with Tony Gilham's Team HARD outfit for the 2016 season.

Hill will partner BTCC debutant Chris Smiley in the other of Team HARD's Toyota Avensis challengers, just days after the squad was officially granted a second TBL licence by TOCA.

Although this will be Hill's first full time foray in the championship, the 22-year old does have previous BTCC experience, having made a trio of one off appearances for Motorbase Performance, Rob Austin Racing and, most recently, AmD Tuning.com.

"I am thrilled to have been given this amazing opportunity thanks to Tony Gilham at Team HARD, RCIB Insurance and of course our long-term supporters Sportif Motor Group and our other fantastic partners," said Hill.

"I have loved the BTCC races I've competed in so far and I hope I can show what I can do with a full programme. I'm now gearing up for the Season Launch in a couple of weeks and testing."

Team boss Tony Gilham believes Hill's signing completes one the most exciting young driver line ups on the 2016 grid.

"With Jake and Chris [Smiley], we have one of the most exciting pairings of young talent in the series," said Gilham.

"As soon as it became apparent that we were in a position to run a second car, Jake was my absolute first choice. I really couldn't have asked for a better line-up, and having seen how quick Jake is in everything he's raced so far, it's fantastic to finally have him as part of our family."

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