Former BTCC outfit Team HARD will enter the Renault UK Clio Cup next season, with Kieran Gallagher confirmed as their first driver signing.
HARD, who last officially competed in the BTCC in 2013, will join the Clio Cup for the first time alongside their exploits in the Volkswagen Racing Cup.
Led by ex-BTCC racer Tony Gilham, the team hope to run more than one fourth-generation Clio in their maiden campaign as he eyes a return to the BTCC in the future.
“It’s fantastic to be back on the TOCA package and we’re delighted to be making our debut in the Clio Cup,” said Gilham.
“We’re hoping to be back in touring cars sooner rather than later but we want to grow on the support package as well.
“Initially, we’ll have one car for Kieran [Gallagher] which we hope to have before Christmas but we’re looking to speak with other drivers too, so we could end up running two, three or four.
“We’ve already got new staff in place with experience of the latest Clio so things are looking good. It’s fantastic Team HARD Racing will be back as part of the BTCC weekends.”
Gallagher meanwhile is no stranger to the BTCC package, having made a one-off appearance in the BTCC itself at Knockhill last year in a HARD Insignia, before competing in the opening weekend of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB this year with Parr Motorsport.
Alongside those outings, Gallagher has competed in the VW Cup for the last two years with Team HARD and the Scotsman feels ready to step into the Clios with the team.
“I want to go to touring cars full-time but we need to prepare correctly for that, so Clio Cup is the perfect stepping stone,” said Gallagher.
“My career has gone a lot further than planned already, obviously making my debut in touring cars within just over a year of starting racing and finishing thirteenth at my home track was pretty good!
“I’ve had numerous opportunities to join the Clios with a lot of teams, but we’ve got strong links at Team HARD and a lot of good friends there.
“Finishing in the top six at the end of the year would be good, I want to try and get a couple of podiums along the way and if I get a win or two that’d be fantastic.”