Mike Bushell will continue with Team HARD for the 2019 British Touring Car Championship after securing new sponsors for the upcoming year.
Consistency is key for the Kent-based driver. After scoring the squad’s best ever finish with a fourth place at Rockingham, Bushell is hoping to continue to build on his success next season.
“After the struggles early on this year, hard work and the determination to not give up has rewarded us with strong pace and several great points finishes,” he said. “Topping the timesheets at Silverstone in free practice was a real highlight, not to mention achieving the team’s best ever qualifying with fourth place at Rockingham.
“The key to success in the BTCC is consistency. I always look up to the likes of Tom Ingram and Speedworks who stick together, keep making progress and are now righting for the overall driver’s title.
“I see Team HARD as the perfect place to further my racing career as my relationship with the team goes beyond the race weekends and I have been able to be heavily involved with the preparation and engineering. We’ve become a family and every success is shared between us all.”
Bushell is the first driver to be confirmed for 2019. He hopes the early confirmation will help boost the team’s chances next season.
“We’ve had some real flashes of speed this year and we have a great winter testing plan lined up to build on the solid package we have now,” he said.
Having returned to the BTCC after securing his second Renault Clio Cup UK title, Bushell is 22nd in the overall drivers’ championship standings, and is the best placed of the eight drivers that have raced with Team HARD so far this season.
Team boss Tony Gilham is confident he’ll be able to continue as he heads into his third year.
“Mike is an unbelievable talent and I have never met a more driven and ambitious driver in my life,” he said.
“He has extensive knowledge about the car and has been a real asset for the team in the engineering department.
“He is the complete package and one that we wanted to hold on to in our quest to be a top team in the best championship in the world. It is amazing for the team to have a deal in place for 2019 and will enable us to improve in all the areas where we feel we can really work on over the winter.
“The Volkswagen CC has been extensively developed and we now believe we have a package to rival any other team and driver combination on the grid. We still have more to come and will be looking to build in certain areas where we need to in order to compete at the front consistently.”