Photo: PSP Images

Mike Bushell rejoins Team HARD for 2020 season

Mike Bushell will make a full-time return to competition in the British Touring Car Championship next season after agreeing a deal to rejoin Team HARD.

The double Clio Cup UK champion was due to race for Tony Gilham’s team for a second straight year in 2019 before he was forced to give up his drive on the eve of the new season, and instead switched to Cobra Sport AmD to act as engineer for Rory Butcher.

Called upon to replace Sam Tordoff for the final three rounds of the campaign, Bushell then secured a number of top ten finishes and expressed a desire to try and return to the grid for a full season again in 2020.

The 30-year-old will now embark on his third full season in the series at the wheel of Volkswagen CC alongside Jack Goff, with his aim being to try and improve on the results he showed during his time in the car back in 2018.

“I am looking forward to returning to Team HARD Racing for the 2020 BTCC season so I can carry on with the progress that I made during 2018,” he said. “Unfortunate circumstances meant I was unable to take part in the 2019 season and instead I spent my time helping to engineer Rory Butcher to the Independents’ Drivers title. A short spell as a substitute for Sam Tordoff for the last three events in the Honda Civic re-kindled my desire to race.

“With help from Fox Transport, I am able to return to the grid full-time for 2020 and Team HARD. Racing can offer me a chance to be involved in the engineering side as well as driving. A year on the sidelines has helped with my technical understanding and I look forward to extracting the most out of the VW CC once again.”

Team boss Tony Gilham said he was delighted to welcome Bushell back into the fold.

“First and foremost, I am delighted to bring Mike back into the team after a year away,” he said. “We are good friends away from the track and it was a very difficult decision that we collectively had to make back in March.

“I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason and to have Jack and Mike as a two-car pairing in 2020 is just fantastic. I’m sure many will join me in thinking that this is one of the strongest pairings that will grace the BTCC grid next season.

“Mike has already been using his engineering prowess and experience from 2019 to push the VW CCs on to the next level. They may have been around since 2013 but there is plenty of speed still to be unlocked and 2020 will see a vastly improved car!”