HARD Scholarship winner Sutton wins VW Cup prize drive


David Sutton will get his first taste of tin-top motorsport as he was victorious in Team-HARD’s Scholarship contest, earning a prize drive in the 2013 APR Volkswagen Racing Cup with the squad.

Former karting champion and Formula Renault racer Sutton beat 120 hopefuls in the contest to win the prize drive, judged by 2007 Volkswagen Racing Cup champion and BTCC star Tony Gilham.

His reward will be a full season in the 2013 VW Cup with Gilham’s HARD squad, driving one of the team’s Golf GTI machines for his first year in saloon car racing.

“I started competing in karts when I was seven, and won a lot of races,” said the 22-year-old. “After winning the 2006 British Junior Rotax Championship I switched to single-seaters for a season but the budget ran out, and I thought that was the end of my career.

“I saw the Team-HARD competition and entered it without much in the way of expectation, but then I made the final 10 and I began to think that I could actually win it. Then I was selected for the top three and was called to the Team HARD factory for the prize-giving ceremony, where I heard that I had won. I couldn’t believe it. This is a life-changing experience and I will work harder than ever to repay the trust placed in me.”

Gilham added: “David excelled in every area – fitness, media handling and, of course, on the track,” said Tony. “The judges were hugely impressed by his attitude and drive as well as his speed. He is the complete package and we have high hopes that he will go all the way.”

Sutton is expected to be the sixth driver for Gilham’s squad in the 2013 season, joining Andy Wilmot, Richard Kingsnorth, Emma Selway, Sam Morgan and Henry Gilbert as provisional entries for Team-HARD.