Team HARD is aiming to take the Independents Championship this season after securing star British Touring Car Championship engineer Geoff Kingston.
Kingston, who has spent the past 30 years working in motorsport, joins the Kent based squad after spending the past two years at Speedworks, helping the team to the Independents’ trophy last season.
He says moving to Team HARD represents a new challenge.
“Having known Tony [Gilham] for a few years now and seen how they have developed as a team, I feel that together we can build on that and really create something special,” Kingston said.
“The CC is a very strong car and with a few upgrades over the winter will be a force to be reckoned with once again.
“The one thing Team HARD has lacked until now is a little bit of engineering experience – which is what I can bring to the table. With very little differences between these cars, the skill is in finding the limit from what’s available; that can be pretty elusive – but with the NGTC regulations as they are, it means that everybody has the same opportunity, which means it all comes down to how you use it.”
Since joining the BTCC paddock with Alain Menu in 1992, Kingston has worked with a number of teams and drivers, including Team Dynamics and West Surrey Racing. Away from touring cars, Kingston played a key role in Jaguar’s World Sportscars title and Le Mans victory in the 1980s. He also worked in Formula 1 in the 1990s.
Team boss Tony Gilham believes the signing shows a clear intent for the 2018 season.
“Geoff is arguably the best engineer in the BTCC paddock and it is no secret that we have been trying to secure his service for the past three years,” he said.
“That said, only now do I believe that the timing is right for us to work together as we continue to work our way up the grid.
“We both have the same drive and determination as well as a winning mentality that has brought us together for 2018.
“We both believe that we will arrive at race one of the season with a package capable of rivalling any team on the grid.”
The team has already confirmed rookie Bobby Thompson as its first driver of the season. It is set to make further announcements in the following weeks.