Boardley back at Team HARD. for 2020 with BMW 1 Series

by Vince Pettit
Carl Boardley - Team HARD. Racing BTCC

BTCC driver Carl Boardley will return for the 2020 season with Team HARD. Racing switching from the Volkswagen CC that he drove for the 2019 season to a newly acquired BMW 1 Series.

Boardley purchased the BMW himself and will get Tony Gilham’s Team HARD. Racing to run the car for the 2020 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship.

“I’m over the moon to be back in the BTCC for 2020. I will admit that the 2019 season had its demons, but we used it to find our feet and understand the workings of the BTCC.” said Boardley.

Boardley’s best finish of the season came in the closing weekend of the season when he finished in fourteenth place in the second race. It has been a season that has seen one of the most competitive grids of recent years with a full grid of 30 cars lining up for every race weekend.

“The car has the potential to mix it at the front, so when this opportunity became available, I just had to jump at the chance.”

“There were several options available but when WSR mentioned the availability of an established winning car, I couldn’t help but take an interest.

Carl Boardley - Team HARD. Racing BTCC
Credit: BTCC.net

“I have a great working relationship with Tony and his Team HARD. Racing squad so this is a fantastic fit for everyone involved. I’m really looking forward to trying the BMW 1 Series out over the coming months as we aim to hit the ground running at the season opener at Donington Park.”

While Team HARD. Racing has experience in running rear-wheel-drive cars in other series, the addition of the BMW 1 Series will mark the team’s first foray in BTCC with something that is not front-wheel-drive.

Managing Director, Tony Gilham is happy to have Boardley back with the team for 2020, “We have developed a great relationship with Carl over the years he been with us and the 2019 season was a challenging one, but there were still moments when Carl was able to demonstrate his natural ability behind the wheel.

Tony Gilham, Geoff Steel Racing (Photo Credit: BTCC.net)
Tony Gilham, Geoff Steel Racing (Photo Credit: BTCC.net)

While RWD is new to the team, Gilham had a taste of a BMW 320i in the 2012 season with Geoff Steel Racing.

“I’m delighted that we have been able to bring the BMW name within our team, I loved the BTCC car I drove back in 2012 and I’m glad that Carl could get a deal with WSR to get them to hand over their hugely successful 1 series.”

While the all-conquering BMW 330i M Sport led the field in 2019, Stephen Jelley and Team Parker showed there was still pace left in the 1 Series when they took victory at Oulton Park.

“We have relative inexperience with rear-wheel drive machinery in the BTCC but firmly believe that Carl is the man to help steer us in the right direction with it,” added Gilham. “His years of experience and race engineering ability are really going to aid the development and understanding of the BMW 1 Series.

“I’m sure much of the BTCC paddock and racing enthusiasts know, that our time with our beloved Volkswagen CC’s is coming to an end due to the current regulations which means we have a maximum of two years left with these cars.

It’s a good time to start exploring all avenues for the coming seasons as we look for a worthy successor. With the extensive developments we’ve made to the CC’s and the addition of the rear-wheel drive BMW, this is the perfect start to this process!”

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