Scott switches to VW Passat for remainder of season

James Cole departs Team Hard.

Warren Scott has confirmed that he will compete for the rest of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship in a Next Generation Spec VW Passat, prepared by Team Hard switching from his current Seat Leon S2000.

The former superbike rider will now race in the second Team Hard Passat, which was meant to be a shared seat between youngster Howard Fuller and American race Robb Holland. Scott did confirm that he will remain with his current Team BMR Restart Racing squad but will receive full support and assistance from Tony Gilham’s Team Hard outfit.

So far in 2013 Scott has had a challenging year competing in the Jacks Sears Trophy, not only with various mechanical issues with his Seat Leon but also getting to grips with Britain’s premier Saloon Car championship with only limited car experience. Meanwhile, Team Hard have proved to be perhaps the biggest surprise of the season to date, taking 3 podium finishes in the hands of Tom Onslow-Cole, and there is little doubt that this will be a great move for Scott to improve and get used to racing within the BTCC.

Scott is delighted to be joining Gilham’s Team Hard squad and has no doubt that he will improve as result and said, “We are really keen to work with Team HARD. Tony and his team are a great bunch of guys, we love their philosophy of enjoying the racing alongside being a highly professional, motivated team. In the first half of the season running a newly built and undeveloped NGTC car they have achieved some amazing results. I realise that we still have a long way to go and a lot to learn, but I am positive that in working alongside Team HARD and driving the VW Passat CC NGTC, not only will we become competitive in the championship, but we will also have great fun achieving it.”

Team BMR Restart racing team manager Mark Turner is also delighted with the linkup between the two teams and hopes it will benefit his team’s future in the series saying, “This is a very exciting time for our team and a huge step forwards within the BTCC. We are thoroughly enjoying our racing in this series and we feel moving now to the NGTC shows our commitment to the BTCC long term. We have chosen the VW Passat CC NGTC and Team HARD because they fitted in with our future plans and we believe the support will be valuable to our team’s development. Team BMR will continue to keep its own identity, but will be in association with Team HARD.”

Scott will get his first taste in a Next Generation Car next week at Snetterton during a two day tyre test; open to all BTCC teams, driving one of the team’s Vauxhall Insignia’s following the shock departure of regular driver James Cole.

James Cole, RCIB Insurance Racing
James Cole, RCIB Insurance Racing

Photo by: Pat Cranham

Cole, new to the BTCC for 2013 took a couple of meetings to get to grips with the series but looked much improved at Oulton Park at the beginning of June; although things didn’t go as well last time out at Croft for the former Formula Ford champion.

In a shock, and perhaps slightly harsh statement, particularly as it seemed he was in a great place to learn the BTCC in an ambitious Team Hard team driving an ever improving car, Cole said, "I didn't feel that I was getting any real grounding into the skills needed by working with Team HARD. That has led me to seek new opportunities. I will now look for opportunities with other partners who share the same vision as me and those with the capability of giving me the tools and the experience I need."

Team boss Gilham decided against reacting to Cole’s statement but was looking forward to seeing what Scott can do in an NGTC car and said, “Warren has shown some real potential in the SEAT Leon this year so it will be very interesting to see how the transition to a full NGTC car pans out. Warren will get his first outing in NGTC machinery when he gets behind the wheel of one of our Vauxhall Insignia’s at the Dunlop test at Snetterton next week.”

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About this article
Series BTCC
Drivers Warren Scott , Robb Holland , Tom Onslow-Cole , Howard Fuller , James Cole , Tony Gilham
Article type Breaking news
Tags bmr restart, british touring car, btcc, cole, gilham, ngtc, passat, scott, seat leon, team hard, turner, vauxhall insignia, volkswagen