Team HARD to run trio of VWs in 2017

Team HARD announce a return to Volkswagen machinery for the 2017 British Touring Car Championship season.
Adrian Wilmot (GBR) Team HARD Volkswagen Passat
Adrian Wilmot (GBR) Team HARD Volkswagen Passat
© Jakob Ebrey Photography

Tony Gilham has announced his Team HARD outfit will revert back to Volkswagen machinery for next year's British Touring Car Championship campaign.

Team HARD previously introduced the VW CC to the BTCC during 2013, before taking a sabbatical from the series in 2014 and returning to run the Toyota Avensis for the past two years.

Tom Onslow-Cole took the Team HARD prepared VW to three podium finishes during its debut campaign before Team BMR and, more recently, Team BKR took the mantle of running the CC.

Having stated the trio of CCs will be upgraded with the RML specification kit, Gilham says his Team HARD outfit has unfinished business with the Volkswagen programme.

BKR continued to the run the Volkswagen this season, but did so using the older GPRM control kit rather than the newer RML components.

"Bringing the VWs to the BTCC was our brainchild back in 2011, so it feels like we have some unfinished business with them," said Gilham.

"It was a good car out of the box then and was still winning races last season with the older kit onboard. Now we plan to update all three VWs to the RML-spec over the winter and believe we'll have a really strong package.

"We're coming off the back of a solid year with three older cars, but now we feel we're ready to step up and become extremely competitive.

"A number of our staff were also part of the original build project so of course there is a strong bond too. We looked at many options, however, and made this call because we believe they'll be race-winning machines in our hands.

"To potentially build and develop new cars at the same time as carrying out the RML upgrades would have been a massive task."

With reference to the 2017 driver market, Gilham said that the team has already signed one driver for next season while holding talks with further interested parties for the two remaining seats.

"We've already signed one driver, which will be announced in due course, and we're speaking to further interested parties over the coming weeks in relation to the two vacant seats," Gilham continued.

"It's great for Team HARD to have secured this deal so early in the winter as it gives us the time required to prepare properly for what I'm sure will be another exciting and successful season ahead for us."

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