Photo: PSP Images

Team HARD names Carl Boardley for full campaign

Carl Boardley will move into the BTCC on a full-time basis in 2019 after becoming the third driver confirmed with Team HARD.

The 42-year-old will join Mike Bushell and Bobby Thompson in one of the four Volkswagen CCs being run by Tony Gilham’s outfit, with discussions ongoing when it comes to the final seat in the team.

Boardley – who finished second in the Ginetta GT4 Supercup this season – made his BTCC debut in a one-off outing at Knockhill, although he was excluded from the results of all three races for a technical infringement.

Having tested the VW again following the conclusion of the campaign, Boardley will now hope to make an impression when he joins the grid on a full-time basis at Brands Hatch, with his aim being to hit the ground running from round one.

“I am delighted to have committed to Team HARD for the 2019 season in BTCC,” he said. “After running with the team in GT4 Supercup throughout this year I have got to know the team really well. I feel comfortable in the surroundings and believe we have a good ‘fit’ together.

“Having made my BTCC debut at Knockhill this year it gave me a real taste of what the championship is all about and made me hungry for a lot, lot more. The team have made some major improvements to the car and infrastructure over the last couple of months which is ongoing and I believe things are in a strong position for 2019.

“I am under no illusions as to the size of the task ahead as this championship is the pinnacle but I’m super excited to get started and aim to hit the ground running at Brands Hatch for round one. I must say a massive thanks to everyone who has played a part in making this happen and to my family for their continued support.”

Team boss Gilham said he was keen to see how the experienced racer developed as a touring car driver – insisting that the new agreement wasn’t a ‘short term plan for either of us’.

“Carl is a great addition to our driver line up and not only brings a wealth of experience and pace, but he has a very good understanding of the car in terms of set up and performance,” he said. “He will bring the necessary on track qualities we are looking for as well as add a massive amount off track with our whole set up and all new infrastructure we now have in place. We are on exactly the same page as each other when it comes to what we expect as a team this year and our goals we have set in the championship for the year ahead.

“We cannot wait to get going and see how Carl develops as a BTCC driver. This is not a short-term plan for either of us. The start of the season cannot come soon enough and we already have many plans in place so we can arrive at Brands Hatch in April in the best shape possible.”