Tony Gilham
Team Hard

James Cole Moves from single seaters to BTCC

James Cole Moves from single seaters to BTCC

Jan 3, 2013
Liverpool racing driver, James Cole announces today that he will make his debut in the 2013 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship (BTCC), driving for Team HARD in a Vauxhall Insignia. Cole switches from single seaters to touring cars to capitalise on the high profile and wide audience enjoyed by Britain’s premier racing series, for the introduction of an exciting new road-safety initiative to be launched later this month.

Cole says of the move to BTCC, “The undeniable stronghold that BTCC has on media coverage in the UK, with the ITV4 live package has led to this very exciting new challenge for me. I’ve always been a big fan of touring car racing, so when the chance to move into the series was presented, it was a very easy decision to make. BTCC provides the perfect platform for my ambitions with the new initiative and I’ll be revealing these over the next few weeks.”

On joining Team Hard, Cole adds, “Tony Gilham is an accomplished driver and team owner. As a race driver he understands my goals and how we can work together to achieve the racing results I’ll be out to get and as a team owner he is acutely aware of the commercial requirements I’m looking for to successfully launch a major new road-safety campaign. With Tom Onslow-Cole and Jack Goff already announced, Tony is putting together a very strong driver line-up and I think Team HARD will be a force to be reckoned with.”

Cole remains tight-lipped about the details of the initiative he’ll be launching, only revealing a few details: “it will be far reaching and high-profile, with a relevance to every road user, young and old. I was knocked down and seriously injured outside my school as an 11-year-old so it is really important to me that I work with the BTCC and Team HARD to maximise the benefits of its launch, and now that I’ve signed with Tony I can start to finalise the details and finalise the strategy for the season.”

24-year-old Cole rose quickly through the ranks of single-seaters, winning the North West Formula Ford Championship in 2007, stepping up to the British Formula Ford Championship in 2008 and winning this championship in only his second season, an achievement which earned him nomination for the prestigious McLaren Autosport Young Driver of the Year Award in 2009. Moving to British F3 National Class in 2010, Cole won nine races and took eight poles on route to being runner up in only his first season at this level. Since this time, Cole raced in F2 in 2011, and spent 2012 working on developing the new road-safety initiative and putting plans in place for its launch.

Gilham, Team Owner, Team HARD, is a big supporter of Cole’s ambitious race and commercial plans, saying, “It’s great to have James joining the team for 2013 and bringing such an innovative and inspiring initiative; I’m very impressed with the plans he has for next season, both on-track and off-track.”

“He proved to be very competitive and skillful driver in single seaters,” adds Gilham, “and I think he’ll quickly find his feet in BTCC. He’s a smart young guy, who is obviously hard working so I’ve no doubt that he’ll be putting everything into making sure he’s on the pace and holding his own in the ‘lion’s den’ of the BTCC grid.”

Cole expects to be behind the wheel with Team HARD in early February…

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Tony Gilham

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