Gilham forced out for the rest of the seasonPosted: August 26, 2011 Filed under: British Touring Cars | Tags: BTCC 2011, Budget, Luke Hines, Quit, Tony Gilham, Triple Eight, Vauxhall Leave a comment
Triple Eight racing’s Tony Gilham has been forced to cut his debut British Touring Car season short after six rounds following budget concerns that have plagued him behind the scenes throughout the year.
Gilham currently lies 15th in the BTCC standings, and following the pull-out of a major sponsor earlier in the season has been struggling to secure the budget to retain his place in the Triple Eight Vauxhall Vectra.
After a solid debut year in which he has finished a highest of eight place twice and picked up a number of top 10 results, the enevitable appears to have happened as the team have now announced Gilham will no longer be driving for the squad due to “commercial reasons”, and Triple Eight chairman Ian Harrison has confirmed he is looking for another driver to fill the vacant seat alongside James Nash.
Harrison told the press: “I’m sorry that the relationship with Tony hasn’t worked out as both parties had hoped. He has driven well in what was always going to be a difficult first season for him in the BTCC.
“Obviously we are now looking to fill the seat for the remainder of the season and will announce our plans in due course.”
Gilham is hopeful of returning to the British Touring Car Championship before the end of the season despite losing his drive, and said he considered a return to the Porsche Carrera Cup which brought him to the public eye over the last few years, but has decided to focus on returning to the tin-top series.
Other news surrounding the team is that Luke Hines, 2003 Production class winner and former race winner for Harrison’s Vauxhall squad, tested a turbocharged Vectra with the Triple Eight team at Donington recently in a bid for a full-time drive possibly in 2012. Whether he may be a possible replacement for Gilham is unknown however.