Team HARD boss Tony Gilham will take the wheel of a Toyota Avensis for this weekend’s Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship visit to Rockingham, substituting for Michael Caine who will be absent due to a back injury.
Former British GT champion Caine joined Gilham’s Team HARD outfit in the summer break, but the recent return of an old back injury means that his team boss will take over driving duties of the Toyota Avensis at Rockingham this weekend (27/28 August).
A former BTCC podium finisher with his own squad back in 2012, Gilham last raced in the final two meetings of 2015, admitting that it will be a learning weekend for him in Corby.
“Michael’s had a flare up of an old back injury”, said Gilham. “It had previously been operated on and corrected, but he felt pain in race one back at Knockhill.
“It’s a shame for Michael and ourselves but it’s a long-term project with him and his sponsors as we look to 2017 and beyond. I’ll be stepping into the breech for this weekend – you could definitely say I’ve been thrown in at the deep end!”
Gilham will join Team HARD regulars Jake Hill and Michael Epps for the visit to Rockingham, setting his sights on a visit to the points-paying positions.
“These guys have been racing and testing all season and I haven’t been out in a racing car for the best part of 12 months”, added Gilham. “I raced the last two events of last season at Silverstone and Brands Hatch but since then I’ve done nothing.
“It’ll definitely be tricky but I’m looking forward to it – I always look forward to getting back into a racing car, especially a British Touring Car, and going racing again.
“It’ll certainly be a weekend that’s a bit of a learning process for me. I’ll be working closely with our guys – Mike (Epps) and Jake (Hill) – to try and glean as much as I can before going out competitively in qualifying. They’ve been on it this season so they’ll be a real help.
“It would be nice to notch a point maybe, I’ll see what I can do. We’ll find out if there’s still a bit of life in the old dog yet!”