Tony Gilham team boss/driver for Team Hard has announced what he calls his “game changer,” which will continue his competing in the 2013 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship.
Having already acquired both Thorney Motorsport New Generation Touring Vauxhall Insignias, Gilham has now confirmed that he will build and run two Volkswagen Passat CCs in the 2013 season opener at Brands Hatch. His grand plan is to add two more Passats by mid-season.
The former cage fighter first raced in the BTCC in 2011 for Triple 8 racing in a Vauxhall Vectra after previously competing in the Porsche Carrera Cup for a number of years.
For 2012 Gilham, famous for his Pink and Green livery, set up his own team having purchased Gordon Shedden’s 2011 Honda Racing Civic and drove the car himself for the first half of the season; the highlight being a podium at Donington in round 6.
In the second half of the year, American Robb Holland and youngsters Howard Fuller and Aaron Williamson all took turns in driving the Civic while Gilham drove the Insignia for 3 meetings; two with Thorney Motorsport and once with Team Hard.
For 2013, Team Hard look like they will go from strength to strength and certainly have a large and colourful presence on the grid with Gilham saying, “We envisage two Insignias and two Passats on the grid for the opening round at Brands Hatch . The plan is to add two more Passats later on in the season and it could be we end up running two teams under different names. We already have one driver signed and are also in very advanced discussions with others. They will be big, exciting names.”
Gilham is no stranger to VW’s as a former Volkswagen Cup champion and is still running a team in the championship having strong links with the German marquee. Gilham confirmed that the project is completely his own but hasn’t ruled out full support from manufacturer in the future and said, "It is our own project, but we are in talks with VW.”
Gilham has yet to confirm what car he is to drive for 2013, if at all, but along with the three drivers he ran during the second half of 2012, he has already given a test to 2012 Clio Cup champion Jack Goff in the Insignia at a foggy Silverstone Circuit.
Work has already started on the Passat and he hopes to have the first car out testing by February. The team also have the option to run the Honda Civic which will be eligible for the 2013 Jack Sears trophy for all S2000 spec cars.