Tony Gilham will step into the hotseat of Thorney Motorsport‘s Vauxhall Insignia at Snetterton this weekend.
The Vauxhall has been absent from the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship since the second round, having missed the races initially at Thruxton, but then Oulton Park and Croft.
And with Robb Holland taking over Gilham’s Honda Civic, Gilham says the deal satisfies both parties.
“It makes sense for us,” he told theCheckeredFlag.co.uk. “I want some seat time in an NGTC, Thorney want their car out.
“They want me to get some data, help development with the car because it has got massive potential – and they want to get it quick by the end of the year and I want to help towards that.”
Gilham says his experience with front-wheel drive cars was a caveat for team manager John Thorne, whose outfit has been hit with a variety of problems, curtailing their development, and is excited at the chance to be a part of the Insignia’s development.
“I won’t sit in the car until Saturday. I just want to get in the car, get a good feel for it and get it as high up the grid as possible. The car has massive potential so hopefully we can fulfil that. Thorney have done a good job with the car so hopefully we can bring something to the table to enhance its capabilities.”
A deal that benefits both, it is one which has sorted itself out pretty quickly – even if the first phone call took place when Gilham was on holiday – and the two teams will be working together on the project, with the prospect of further collaborations in the future.
“We’ve been speaking for a good two to three weeks and obviously we’ve made a decision,” he said. “We’ve got a few of Team-HARD. staff working with Thorney staff to make the most of the opportunity.
“At the moment it’s just for Snetterton but we’ll see how the weekend goes and we’ll see what happens. We’ve got a lot going on but who knows?”
With Holland occupying Gilham’s Civic, the two will be going head-to-head on track. So how does the prospect of rubbing shoulders with his own car sound?
“I wish Robb all the very best in my Civic,” he says. “If I’m anywhere near Robb on track we’ll work together. Even if we’re in different cars, I’ll consider us teammates.
“Thanks to John Thorne for letting me get behind the wheel of the Insignia, I'd love to see it in pink and green.”