Team HARD have signalled their intent for the 2018 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship by signing leading engineer Geoff Kingston.

Kingston joins the Independent squad after playing a key part in helping Speedworks and Tom Ingram in the past two years; with a pair of Independent’ titles the reward this past season.

Team HARD Team Principal, Tony Gilham, said: “Geoff is arguably the best engineer in the BTCC paddock and it is no secret that we have been trying to secure his services for the past three years.

“That said, only now do I believe that the timing is right for us to work together as we continue to work our way up the grid. We have a great friendship and that is the perfect platform on which to build a very good working relationship.

“We both have the same drive and determination, as well as a winning mentality that has brought us together for 2018. We both believe that we will arrive at race one of the season with a package capable of rivalling any team on the grid.

“This is another clear statement of our intent and having had Geoff involved for just a few days so far, it is quite clear that we will make a significant step as he will take us to the next level and improve us in all areas.

“With the right drivers in our cars there is no reason why we are not able to challenge for race wins and we will be aiming to take the Independent Championship come the end of the season.”

Boasting an impressive CV which has seen him help Jaguar claim the World Sportcars title and Le Mans crown in the late 1980’s, Kingston is relishing aiding the Kent-based squad towards the front of the field.

Kingston explained: “I was looking for a fresh challenge like this, and when it came up, it just seemed like the perfect fit at the right time. Having known Tony for a few years now and seen how they have developed as a team, I feel that together we can build on that and really create something special.

The CC is a very strong car and with a few upgrades over the winter will be a force to be reckoned with once again.

“The one thing Team HARD has lacked until now is a little bit of engineering experience – which is what I can bring to the table. With very little differences between these cars, the skill is in finding the limit from what’s available; that can be pretty elusive – but with the NGTC regulations as they are, it means that everybody has the same opportunity, which means it all comes down to how you use it.”

Team HARD have so far confirmed one driver for the 2018 campaign, with Volkswagen Cup champion Bobby Thompson graduating to the series.

The team are set to make further announcements in the coming weeks regarding their plans for next year.

PHOTO CREDIT: Jakob Ebrey Photography