British Touring Car Championship race winner Aron Taylor-Smith will make his return to the series in the 2021 season after signing with Team HARD. Racing in the third Cupra Leon alongside Jack Goff and Glynn Geddie.
The 31-year-old Irish driver raced in the BTCC between 2012-17 and has multiple race wins for Motorbase, Team BMR and Team BKR with many coming in the now retired Volkswagen CC.
He stepped away from the BTCC in 2018 competing in GT racing taking a class win in the Blancpain GT Sprint Cup Series before partnering fellow former BTCC driver, Sam Smelt in the British GT Championship in 2019.
“I am back and more ready than ever,” said Taylor-Smith. “Watching from the sidelines this year made me realise how much I miss the BTCC. It’s a championship like no other and I was determined to get back on the grid for 2021. What I love about Tony (Gilham) is his passion to win, it’s refreshing to be around, and I already know that I will feel right at home.“
“The personnel that he has collected to join this project are amongst the best in the game, he’s done an unbelievably good job with the Cupra. I can honestly say that I have never been this excited to go racing, it’s going to be a great year!
“I actually want to thank both Tony and Warren (Scott) for putting this package together for me, it’s a big deal to return to the BTCC and I am really looking forward to getting stuck in at Brands.”
Tony Gilham, Managing Director of Team HARD. Racing spoke of his delight of adding Taylor-Smith to the team for the 2021 campaign believing he will be at the sharp end once more.
“I’m delighted to have Aron onboard with us for the 2021 campaign driving the all new Cupra Leon. He has proven race winning pedigree in the series and has always proved a match for any of his team-mates in the past which include multiple champions.
“It was important to acquire a strong driver line up this year to help develop our new car and to have three top line drivers at this stage is a brilliant result for the team. Aron will be joining good friend Jack (Goff) once again after the pair were team-mates in 2014. The fact that these guys have worked together before will really accelerate the development of the car and help get our season started on the front foot.
“All drivers including fellow team-mate Glynn (Geddie) will take on an extensive testing programme before the season opener to allow us to provide them with the platform to maximise their potential and the capabilities of our new machinery.
“I have full confidence that Aron will quickly get back into the groove of driving a front-wheel drive touring car after spending a few years away in GTs. It’s shaping to be our most positive season to date.”