Kent-based Team HARD, the family-run motorsport organisation that runs campaigns across multiple UK championships, opened its new facility at Detling Aerodrome, near Maidstone on Saturday November 30.
To mark the occasion, the public was invited for an open day to get a glimpse of what goes on behind the scenes of a busy motorsport business.
Director and Team Principal Tony Gilham, Tony’s wife Sam, who is Office Manager for the business, and team personnel were on hand to welcome guests and answer questions about the new facility and the cars on display.
EGT editor Andy Lloyd spoke to Tony Gilham about the team’s journey and its plans for the future.
This is a magnificent facility. You must be very proud.
“It is a very proud day for us. It is the first time we’ve opened the doors to the public. It’s been 20 years in the making. It’s taken a lot of time, effort, commitment, dedication and a lot of risk and it’s starting to pay dividends so it’s a huge achievement and everybody’s put their heart and soul into it – we’ve got some very loyal staff.
“We’ve got a lot of family members who work here so it’s testament to everybody who’s created what we’ve got today.”
Team HARD enjoys running multiple racing programmes and this increase in space must give you scope to increase that if you wanted to.
“Yes, when we came here, we signed a five year deal on these premises with a view to filling at the end of five years. We now find ourselves at the end of month three and we’re full up which is great and it’s all positive. We’ve just got to concentrate on the quality rather than just keep growing and growing because we don’t want to take out eye off the ball.
“We’ve taken a lot on but at the same time we’ve got to the point now where every single championship has it’s own infrastructure – its own staffing, manager, tooling, equipment and its own transport facilities. So yes, we’ve grown but we’ve done it in a calculated way because we have a unique concept but it’s one that’s actually working because we’ve put a lot of thought into the process of what we’re creating.”
In 2020 you’re running in BTCC and VW Cup amongst other programmes. What are your aspirations for next season?
“We really want to make our mark in Touring Cars in 2020. We’ve nicked the odd result here and there which is great but we actually want to really prove that we can mix it at the front. We’ve got a lot of ambition, which is burning away. We’ve done a lot of work on the CC which is an older car but we’re essentially arriving with all-new CCs next year and we’ve got an additional car which is coming to our programme which we’re announcing next week in Touring Car.
“We’ve just added Porsche to our radar so it’s growing but every single championship we compete in, we want to be at the front of. If we win on-track, we win off-track and a lot of what we do is off-track.”