Former British Touring Car Championship racer Tony Gilham will return to the driver’s seat of one of his own Team HARD Volkswagen Golf machines in the coming duo of APR Volkswagen Racing Cup rounds at Silverstone this weekend.
BTCC team boss Gilham, who currently also runs a four-car VW Cup outfit this season, will jump into a Golf GTI run by his own squad at the British circuit for rounds five and six of the championship, making him the third Volkswagen Racing Cup champion to appear on the grid alongside Phil House and Joe Fulbrook.
It will be Gilham’s first appearance in the series since his successful one-off outing at the championship’s visit to Spa-Francorchamps last July – where he picked up a victory for his own squad – and the 34-year-old is enthusiastic about his return, although remains coy on his own chances of repeating his triumph in 2012.
“I’m very rusty,” says Gilham. “Other than a shakedown in a BTCC car at the end of last season, I haven’t really done anything since Spa. It’s a very competitive grid with a lot of ex-champions in there. I’m just looking to have an enjoyable weekend on a circuit that I haven’t driven before; I’m not expecting miracles.”
The 2007 VW Cup champion will race alongside his team’s regular drivers Tom Barley, David Sutton and Andy Wilmot, a trio of rapid youngsters of whom Gilham hopes to support during the duo of races this weekend: “Team HARD has some quick young drivers and I want to help them put on a good show”, Gilham added.
Gilham’s Silverstone showing is expected to be a one-off outing in the 2013 season, after which he will hand back duties of the Golf GTI to its regular rookie driver, Graham Perkins.