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Thompson remains with Team Hard in BTCC 2023

Jack Sears Trophy champion Bobby Thompson is to remain aboard a Team Hard Cupra Leon for a second successive season in the British Touring Car Championship.

Bobby Thompson, Autobrite Direct with JourneyHero Cupra Leon

Bobby Thompson, Autobrite Direct with JourneyHero Cupra Leon

JEP / Motorsport Images

The 26-year-old missed the 2021 season but put in several impressive performances during the 2022 campaign.

Thompson made himself ineligible for future contention in the Jack Sears Trophy, for drivers who have never previously scored an overall podium finish, on two counts: finishing third at Brands Hatch; and winning the JST crown.

He is now targeting the Independents’ crown in 2023 after a winter of development.

“I’m excited to be remaining with Team Hard next year,” said Thompson.

“They have provided me with the opportunities to make huge steps in my career, including my BTCC debut in 2018.

“Looking ahead to next season, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t absolutely buzzing for it! We came off the back of last season with a really strong package at Silverstone and Brands Hatch and I think we have a huge opportunity to challenge for the Independent drivers’ championship next year.

“I’m under no illusions as to the work needed to take the next step, but I believe that both myself and the team are ready.”

Bobby Thompson, Autobrite Direct with JourneyHero Cupra Leon

Bobby Thompson, Autobrite Direct with JourneyHero Cupra Leon

Photo by: JEP / Motorsport Images

Hard boss Tony Gilham added: “We are very happy to confirm that Bobby will be back in a Cupra Leon for the 2023 season.

“This announcement is testament to how far we have come as a team in that we are able to retain a driver with such ability and demand within the BTCC paddock.

“Bobby has done a fantastic job in 2022 and he has made an essential contribution to the team’s success and growth this year.

“It is now down to the team to ensure that our winter development programme improves the Cupra Leon further to enable Bobby to mount a serious challenge towards the front of the pack in 2023.”

Hard has expanded to four TBL entrants’ licences for 2023.

While Thompson is the first driver confirmed for the squad’s line-up this winter, Hard has a multi-year deal in place with Aron Taylor-Smith.

Thompson has spent the majority of his BTCC career with the team – he drove a Volkswagen CC in 2018 and 2019, before switching to a Trade Price Cars Racing Audi for a 2020 season that was truncated by a serious accident.

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