Michael Caine To Make BTCC Return With Team HARD

Michael Caine will return to the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship this weekend, racing for Team HARD in a Toyota Avensis for the remainder of the 2016 season.

The experienced former British GT champion will take over driving duties of the TLC/RCIB Insurance Racing Avensis raced previously this season by Chris Smiley, who steps aside due to budget concerns.

46-year-old Caine has previously contested three BTCC meetings across the 2011 and 2013 seasons, with a best result of eighth coming at Croft in the latter.

“This opportunity came up, and it is interesting,” said Caine. “The team has punched above its weight this season with Michael Epps and Jake Hill, and I hope I will be able to add some experience to the operation.

“Lots of people behind the scenes have helped to make this possible, and I will give it my best shot.”

Team HARD aim to continue working with Smiley in the future, with the Northern Irishman competing with JamSport Racing in the Renault UK Clio Cup in the meantime.

Team HARD boss Tony Gilham said: “Chris is an amazing driver, but unfortunately the promised funds and support never came and so the off-track distraction hampered his progress and also development with the car.

“We’re absolutely delighted to welcome Michael Caine for the rest of the year, who can help push the car forwards. Michael has vast experience and has shown with Motorbase that he can secure results in both GT racing and the BTCC. We’re all looking forward to working together.”