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Snetterton: Caine set for BTCC comeback with Team HARD

Michael Caine will make his return to the BTCC after replacing Team HARD regular Chris Smiley for this weekend's Snetterton round and beyond.
Former British Touring Car Championship driver Michael Caine will return to this series at this weekend's Snetterton meeting after securing a drive in a Team HARD Toyota Avensis.

The 46-year old will replace Chris Smiley, who aims to contest the remainder of the season in the Clio Cup Championship with JamSport, following funding issues.

Caine has previous experience of racing in the BTCC after representing the Motorbase squad on three occasions between 2011-13. The 2012 British GT champion gained two top-ten finishes in the process.

"This opportunity came up, and it is interesting," said Caine. "The team has punched above its weight this season with Michael Epps and Jake Hill, and I hope I will be able to add some experience to the operation. Lots of people behind the scenes have helped to make this possible, and I will give it my best shot."

While welcoming Caine on board to his squad, Team HARD boss Tony Gilham insists this isn't the end of the road of Smiley's relationship with the team.

Smiley's best result came at Thruxton after finishing just outside of the points in 16th.

"We want to be clear that we are still very much involved with Smiley," said Gilham.

"Chris is an amazing driver, but unfortunately the promised funds and support never came and so the off-track distraction hampered his progress and also development with the car.

"Due to him being let down he has been up against it from day one and therefore unable to showcase what he can really do.

"We're absolutely delighted to welcome Michael Caine for the rest of the year, who can help push the car forwards.

"Michael has vast experience and has shown with Motorbase that he can secure results in both GT racing and the BTCC. We're all looking forward to working together."



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Chris Smiley (GBR) TLC Racing Toyota Avensis
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