Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship outfit Team-HARD. added to their growing junior ranks today as Emma Selway signed up to race in the 2013 Volkswagen Cup.

The Dartford-based outfit recently confirmed 15-year-old Sam Morgan would enter the VW Cup under their banner and Selway, 23, becomes the first female racer to join Tony Gilham‘s team.

Her main experience of tin-top racing is the Lotus Elise Trophy, where she was on the podium in her first three races, winning twice –  the first woman to stand on the rostrum in the championship, let alone win.

She t0ld“It was very unexpected when woke up this morning. It’s a massive relief and it’s something I haven’t experienced since I was racing go-karts, it’s been that long since we had plans in place before the season.

“I think the VW Cup is the perfect place for me to start a full season after being away for so long. After the Lotus Trophy races I’m feeling confident about tin tops, we’re going to try a testing programme together before New Year to see where we’re at.”

Gilham was impressed with her record during her time racing in the Lotus Elise Trophy and is looking forward to seeing how she progresses as she aims for a BTCC drive in the future.

He said: “She was the first woman on the podium in the Lotus Trophy. She’s got the pace and she’s got potential, and she’s the first female driver we’ve taken on. The aim is VW Cup but eventually moving on to touring cars.

“Emma has shown that she has got the skill to compete with the best and we feel that she is going to be a great addition to the team.”

Selway, who has also competed in Formula Renault and Formula Palmer Audi, missed out on a full-time drive in 2012 when a deal to race in the Renault Clio Cup fell through.

Now, though, with the added security of a potentially long-term partnership with the team, she is determined to make the most of her opportunity – and hopefully inspire other budding female drivers to do the same.

“I’ve never given up,” she said. “I’ve been bitter about not carrying on when I’ve wanted to, then suddenly it gets to today and it’s like all of my Christmases and birthdays have just happened in one day.

“There was never a time I wanted to be out there as a female driver, I want to be out there because I’m successful. I can prove women are as good, if not better than men. I’m there for myself as much as anything, and for the team, but at the same time I like to think I can inspire others.”