Carl Boardley replaces Team Hard's Michael Caine for BTCC Knockhill

Ginetta GT4 Supercup racer Carl Boardley will join the British Touring Car Championship at Knockhill in a Team Hard VW CC in place of Michael Caine

Carl Boardley replaces Team Hard's Michael Caine for BTCC Knockhill

Boardley, who is second in the 2018 Supercup championship with five wins, will step into the car for the three races in Fife in place of Caine.

Caine has had to step down from the championship due to family commitments and Boardley, 42, said he had a long interest in graduating to the BTCC.

"This is something that has been on my radar for a while," said Boardley. "I came close to joining in 2013 but had to change plans due to a health issue.

"I am looking at the championship as an option for 2019, and racing in Scotland will give me a good chance to see how the circus operates, how the cars feel and what the racing is like.

"As a new entry I will be going with the mandated 45kg of success ballast in race one, which means it will be tough to get competitive results, but the Team Hard cars have been running strongly recently so there is a chance to do something in races two and three."

Team Hard principal Tony Gilham said that he regretted Caine's decision to step down but was glad to help Boardley, who races with Team Hard in Ginettas, progress.

"Michael Caine is such a character and he is loved by everyone at Team Hard," said Gilham.

"He has been part of our team for a long time and will continue to be so. We have had a great journey together in the BTCC and although it's not been as competitive as we'd both hoped, it's always great to have him around."

Gilham said that he came close to securing Boardley to run in the BTCC at the start of this year, but the driver decided to switch to the Ginetta GT4 Supercup instead.

"We virtually had a deal done - and he even tested on a couple of occasions - but the decision was taken to switch focus to Ginetta Supercup," said Gilham.

"Getting a toe-in-the-water at Knockhill will give him some experience in what is a highly competitive championship and it will all add to his knowledge ahead of a full campaign if he decides to do the BTCC in 2019.

"This is a great first step for him to see what it is all about."

The rules concerning driver changes for an entry were altered at the start of this season.

Previously, a team was not allowed more than one driver change throughout the year to maintain the terms of its TOCA BTCC Licence to compete, but this was upped to two at the start of 2018.

Team Hard has already made two drivers changes this year, but it has split its four cars across two teams meaning it has not gone over its allowance for 2018.

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