Photo: PSP Images

Mike Bushell re-signs with Team HARD for 2019

Mike Bushell has become the first driver to commit to the 2019 BTCC season after agreeing a deal to remain with Team HARD for a second season.

Bushell made his return to the series this year with Tony Gilham’s outfit and has show solid pace at the wheel of a Volkswagen CC, even if the end results haven’t always reflected that speed.

“I am delighted to be staying with the team for the 2019 season,” he said. “After the struggles early on this year, hard work and the determination to not give up has rewarded us with strong pace and several great points finishes. Topping the timesheets at Silverstone in Free Practice was a real highlight, not to mention achieving the team’s best ever qualifying with fourth place at Rockingham.

“The key to success in the BTCC is consistency. I always look up to the likes of Tom Ingram and Speedworks who stick together, keep making progress and are now fighting for the overall driver’s title. I see Team HARD as the perfect place to further my racing career as my relationship with the team goes beyond the race weekends and I have been able to be heavily involved with the preparation and engineering. We’ve become a family and every success is shared between us all.

“We’ve had some real flashes of speed this year and we have a great winter testing plan lined up to build on the solid package we have now. All of this would not be possible without the help of Tony Gilham and I look forward to rewarding the faith he has in me.”

Team boss Gilham said he was pleased to get a deal with Bushell done early to allow the team to prepare for the new campaign.

“Mike is an unbelievable talent and I have never met a more driven and ambitious driver in my life,” he said. “He has extensive knowledge about the car and has been a real asset for the team in the engineering department.

“He is the complete package and one that we wanted to hold on to in our quest to be a top team in the best championship in the world. It is amazing for the team to have a deal in place already for 2019 and will enable us to improve in all the areas where we feel we can really work on over the winter.

“We are still a young family team, but are very determined to succeed at the very top and in Mike we have the perfect driver to do that.”