Team-HARD. will run two NGTC Vauxhall Insignias next season and team boss Tony Gilham will race one of the new cars at Brands Hatch this weekend – with the team also in discussion with several drivers looking to sign in 2013.
It means the team will also have two cars racing at the season finale, with Clio Cup youngster Aaron Williamson set for his BTCC debut in the team’s de-liveried, white S2000 Honda Civic, which has previously been piloted by Gilham, Robb Holland and most recently Howard Fuller.
The Insignias have been purchased from Thorney Motorsport and Gilham has prior experience of the car he will drive in his home race, having driven it at Snetterton – with a view to buying the car as early as then – and also as a last-minute replacement for Chris Stockton at Silverstone.
Though the team had originally planned to build their own next-generation cars, with time against them they opted for what would give them a better starting point for 2013 – though there is still a significant amount of work to do.
The car will be stripped down after Brands, rebuilt and strengthened over the winter – with the team citing the car’s basic fragility and cooling issues as key areas for improvement – while the second will be “built from the ground up” after not running at all in 2012.
Gilham said: “It is a pleasure to be taking the cars on. We’d have liked to have built our own but these cars have potential to be a real front-runner and we want to put a HARD. mark on it.
“We know it can be good but you can’t do it cheap, so we will strip it down and re-engineer the whole car. We’re looking to improve on the work done previously.”
The team boss also confirmed the car, stripped of its black colour scheme and also now all-white, would be run entirely by the Dartford outfit.