Team-HARD.’s first-ever signing, Andy Wilmot, is to return to the squad for a full-on assault on the APR Volkswagen Racing Cup title.

The 32-year-old from Dartford, where the team were previously based, will race a new Mk V Golf GTI, the first to be built by Tony Gilham’s team at their new HQ in Northfleet.

Wilmot made his VW Cup debut in 2012 but split his campaign with Ford Fiesta and other championship drives, including Renault Clio Cup outings. However, this year he will be a one-championship man.

“I missed two of the Volkswagen meetings last year,” Wilmot said, “but for the coming season this will be my sole focus – no more Fiesta, Clio or Britcar outings. If I do anything outside racing the Golf it will be testing, testing, testing.

“Because I was the first driver ever to sign with Team-HARD., Tony has agreed that my ‘reward’ is a completely new car. I feel confident with the car, confident with the team and confident that I will get good results.”

He finished 14th overall in the VW Cup standings after missing four races, with a best finish of sixth, at Silverstone.

Wilmot is the latest driver to join an ever-growing Team-HARD. stable. The squad had previously announced the signings of Emma Selway, Sam Morgan and Henry Gilbert for its VW Cup campaign, and is also staging an ambitious BTCC programme featuring several cars, including the Volkswagen CC.

Team boss Gilham says of his protégé: “It is clear that Andy has championship-winning potential. There were too many distractions for him last year, now I feel it is time to concentrate Andy’s development on his way to a future BTCC drive.

“With the team that he will have around him, the engineers and drivers, I am confident that Andy’s progress will be fast.”

The forthcoming season of the APR Volkswagen Racing Cup features 14 races spread over seven events, six of which are at UK circuits supporting British GT and one at the Belgian Grand Prix circuit of Spa-Francorchamps. The series enjoys additional support from Ceva, ECM, Eibach, Hankook, Milltek Sport and Paragon.