VW Cup racer Tom Barley described his first taste of BTCC machinery as a ‘special moment’ after leaping at the chance to test Team HARD‘s Vauxhall Insignia at the recent spat of BTCC tests at Snetterton’s 300 circuit.
Former historic racer Barley currently races in the APR Volkswagen Racing Cup with ex-BTCC driver Tony Gilham‘s squad, and a recent run of impressive showings in that series saw him rewarded with a test in the team’s second NGTC Vauxhall Insignia BTCC machine at Snetterton on July 16.
The Kent racer set some very respectable times on his maiden run in the currently vacant RCIB Insurance Racing Vauxhall Insignia, and told thecheckeredflag.co.uk that he enjoyed every moment of his first experience in a BTCC car.
“The BTCC test came about as a result of some strong showings in the VW Cup this year”, said Barley. “I’ve made my way up through the grid thanks to some great tuition from Jack Goff, advice from Tony and great support by the team. This season been a great journey.
“The BTCC car is a fantastic car to drive. It’s very different to the Golf, and in a way behaves more like a rear wheel drive car mid-corner, but I enjoyed every second getting comfortable with it. Growing up idolising the BTCC, it was a special moment to get belted up in a touring car for the first time. I won’t ever forget that feeling.”
Barley has enjoyed an encouraging season thus far with Team HARD in the British GT-supporting Volkswagen Racing Cup during 2013, and recently came off the back of his strongest showing of the campaign yet at Spa-Francorchamps, the rookie having qualified second on the grid before securing a fourth place finish during the weekend’s first race around the iconic Belgian venue.
The Golf GTI racer currently lies 10th in the championship, and added that he has now got his eyes on grasping some silverware with a visit to the podium, saying: “The VW Cup has been a great place for me to learn my trade in door to door racing with fiercely competitive rivals. My background is in historic racing, which has a more ‘gentlemanly’ feel.
“At the start of the year I didn’t expect to be lining up on the front row of the grid, or actually leading a race so I’ve exceeded my own expectations. I need a podium now to top off what’s been a fantastic year. That trophy will live at team HARD.”