Barley Leads Team HARD Trio Into 2019 GT4 Supercup

by Simon Paice
Tom Barley - Credit: Ian Cutting

One-time BTCC racer and reigning Britcar Endurance Championship runner-up Tom Barley will compete in the 2019 Millers Oils Ginetta GT4 Supercup alongside Darron Lewis and Paul Taylor at Team HARD.

This is the latest chapter in a long association between Barley and the Kent-based squad, which started back in 2013 as he made a one-off BTCC debut in a Vauxhall Insignia and has since featured spells with them in the Volkswagen Racing Cup and Britcar.

Barley has spent the last two years behind the wheel of a Ginetta G55 GT4 in Britcar, finishing second in the Class 3 standings in 2017 before winning the class title and finishing as overall vice-champion last year alongside Simon Rudd.

“After months of hard work and nervous waits, I’m delighted to confirm my Supercup entry,” he said. “Last season, myself and team mate Simon Rudd had fantastic success in Britcar, but the GT4 SuperCup is still a big step up.

“I’ve been racing the Ginetta G55 GT4 for a couple of years now, so I know the car well. Despite spending the last two seasons in endurance racing, I’m looking to hit the ground running with my car knowledge and the team’s championship knowledge. It’s going to be a fantastic year.”

Lewis joins Barley in making the move across from Britcar with two years of experience racing a Ginetta G55, with the Birmingham based racer also enjoying similar success as he took the Class 3 title and overall vice-champion honours in 2017, before finishing fourth overall last season.

He commented: “It was a no brainer for me to continue my partnership with Team HARD. Racing and I’m excited to be joining forces in Ginetta’s flagship championship. They will be running several cars in the championship which will enable us to compare data and therefore increase lap times.

“I’ve got previous experience in the Ginetta’s having raced in the Britcar Endurance Championship sporadically over the previous two seasons. I’m buzzed to be committing to a full season in 2019 and I’m only going to get quicker and quicker as we test the cars and the season progresses.”

Taylor meanwhile is a renowned tin-top specialist having won the VAG Trophy title on three occasions and the VW Cup crown in 2006, a series he was also a multiple race-winner in last season. He has had a taste of the Supercup before having contested the final two meetings in 2017.

“Tony [Gilham] and myself have been good friends for some time now and I can’t wait to be working with the team again in 2019,” he explained. “They did a fantastic job in helping me clinch the VAG Trophy in previous years and I can see how hard they have worked to develop as a team.

“I’ve spoken to Carl [Boardley] and Michael [Crees] on what to expect this year and I believe that this knowledge will prove invaluable as I aim to hit the ground running! The plan is to be consistent this year, collecting as many points as possible every weekend to push for the championship.”

Team HARD guided Carl Boardley to second overall in the Supercup last season and he is now set to race for the team in the British Touring Car Championship this year, with one of his team-mates being reigning Am Class champion Michael Crees.

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