Reigning Michelin Ginetta GT4 Supercup ‘AM Class’ champion Michael Crees has been confirmed as Team HARD’s fourth and final driver for the 2019 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship as he makes his debut in the series.
Crees will make the step up to the BTCC in only his third season of motorsport competition, though he already has two championship titles in two years under his belt having won the Ginetta Racing Drivers’ Club crown in 2016 before his march to Supercup glory.
The Kent racer took eleven class victories and eight other podium finishes on his way to the Supercup ‘AM Class’ honours, and will now make the transition to tin-top competition behind the wheel of a Team HARD Volkswagen CC.
“My dream has become a reality! It has been a very difficult decision with what to do next year as I have so little experience in racing, but after winning two titles in two years of racing, we wanted to challenge ourselves in the hardest championship in the UK,” said Crees.
“I want to thank Tony Gilham for taking a chance on us. Having spent the last couple of weeks working with and getting to know the team, how they work and our plans, it became clear this would be the right decision for the next chapter in my racing career.
“We share a lot of the same values and goals for the future so I’m very much looking forward to working with the team to see what we can achieve together. I can’t wait to get out this week and start a long tough journey to becoming a successful BTCC driver.”
Crees is Team HARD’s final signing for next season, joining the returning Mike Bushell and Bobby Thompson, as well as fellow Ginetta GT4 Supercup graduate Carl Boardley, with team boss Tony Gilham expressing his delight at his latest acquisition.
“We are very proud to welcome Michael to what we call our family. Michael is very much like us in the way he approaches his racing with his family support around him and his mindset to do the best job possible on track but to enjoy it off track too,” he commented.
“He is a very special talent and has had a meteoric rise to the top and we cannot wait to share the next chapter of our stories together. It will be a very steep learning curve for Michael, but that said we have all been very impressed with Michael on the recent test days.
“We’ll be working hard over the winter to arrive at Brands Hatch as ready as we can be for the year ahead. There have been several changes to the team structure and personnel, and we are hoping to achieve great things together as this is a long term programme for us all.”