By: Pat Cranham, BTCC reporter
Harry Vaulkhard and Bamboo Engineering are set to rejoin the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship for 2011 after a season competing in the World Championship.
Bamboo was set up mid way through the 2009 BTCC season using existing members and the Silverstone based facilities of the departed Tempus Sport, who ran Vaulkhard through the early part of the season. However the team made the decision prior to the 2010 season to join the World Touring Car Championship with Vaulkhard and the impressive Hong Kong driver Daryl O'Young.
Unfortunately Vaulkhard had to pull out partway through the season but O'Young impressed throughout the season and was still in with a chance of the Independents' Championship heading into the final event.
Team boss Richard Coleman made the announcement that a deal is imminent and said, "Our aim is to run two cars and we're already very close to a deal with Harry. We want to do the BTCC and he wants to do the BTCC - the championship is looking extremely healthy and we want to be a part of that into the future."
He then went on to confirm that the team will continue to use their Chevrolet Lacetti's in full S2000 specification but he doesn't feel that this will be a disadvantage and finished off by saying, "Our team has come a long way in the last 12 months and we've really strengthened our technical capabilities. We also know the Lacetti a lot better and are confident it can still be a very competitive package, people should remember it's a car that won all three final races in 2009. Furthermore, Harry's matured a lot as a driver so would come back a stronger driver."
As for the 25-year-old Vaulkhard from Newcastle he began his circuit racing in 2004 in the Northern Sport and Saloon car championship before moving into the Seat Cupra Cup winning the Special R-class for older models in 2007 taking 16 podiums in 20 races.
For 2008 he moved into the big time with Robertshaw Racing in an older spec Lacetti where he would learn the ropes of BTCC although sadly not scoring a point.
In 2009 Vaulkhard looaked a different driver having secured the 2008 spec Lacetti. During the first half of the season at Donington he qualified an unbelievable second place finishing 5th in two of the races. Throughout the 2009 season Vaulkhard continued to show good pace in places but sometimes showed he had still a bit of race craft to learn eventually finishing the season with 22points and 16th in the championship before his move to the WTCC.
Stay tuned on Motorsport.com for more announcements on Vaulkhard/Bamboo and on all matters BTCC as more and more teams and drivers confirm for the 2011 in what looks to be a bumper grid for Britain's premier race series..