Two time Clio Cup Champion Mike Bushell will race for Team HARD in the Clio Cup for 2019.
Bushell had been expected to race in the BTCC for a second consecutive season but not everything went to plan for the 29-year-old.
“The plan had been a second season with Team HARD. in the British Touring Car Championship but a few sponsorship deals haven’t worked out so it’s back to the Clio Cup.” said Bushell.
“It’s similar to the move I made after my first season in the BTCC in 2015 and I’ve always said if I can’t race in touring cars then the Clio Cup is the best place for a driver to be.”
Bushell won the Clio Cup in 2014 and 2017 and he will be aiming to take his third title in the category’s final year.
Despite being unable to compete in the BTCC for 2019, Bushell is still happy to be racing in an extremely competitive category.
He commented: “I’ve had no hesitation in making this decision – the professionalism and type of racing means that, as a driver, you stay sharp and you know the cars are equal. Plus, of course, there’s all the exposure with it being at the BTCC’s events which means huge bang for your buck.”
“While of course I’d love to have been staying on the BTCC grid, this is the best alternative to remind people of how competitive I am and to write my own piece of history in one of the best race championships.”
Bushell joins a four car squad at Team HARD for 2019 with the team having already announced Max Coates, Ethan Hammerton and Jade Edwards as part of its line-up.
All four drivers will be aiming to compete for wins and the championship in what is expected to be a closely fought season.
Team HARD Principal, Tony Gillham commented: “I am gutted that Mike won’t be on the BTCC grid with us in 2019 – he’s not only proved to be a firm favourite with fans, our partners and the team; he is also one of the main reasons for our turn in form during the second half of 2018.”
“However, he is very much part of the Team HARD. family so it was a ‘no-brainer’ to bring him into our Clio Cup team – particularly with his knowledge and proven track record in the category.”
“with Mike, Max, Jade and Ethan I believe our Clio Cup line-up is just about as exciting as it gets for a team in UK motor sport – we’ve no doubt whatsoever about the results they are going to deliver, plus the following they will bring should be immense.”
Feature Image credit: Team HARD