Teenager Harry McQuillan, from Staffordshire, has been announced as the latest driver to join Team HARD, a racing car team fronted by British Touring Car Championship driver Tony Gilham.
The 16-year-old, who attends JCB Academy, last year climbed the rankings of the Super One British Karting championship with Protrain, is the newest driver in Team HARD’s Young Driver Programme and will compete in the Volkswagen Racing Cup. The VW Cup is the longest running manufacturer-backed saloon car championship in the UK and is a partner to the British GT Championship.
The young karting star has been racing since he was 12 years old, taking him to tracks all over the UK and fuelling his passion for Motorsport. Harry started as a cadet where he won five novice races, secured his first pole position in the Gold Cup at Three Sisters (Manchester & Buxton Kart Club) and fourth place overall in the PFI Championship (Trent Valley Kart Club).
“I love all types of motorsport but I understand that you have to be realistic about where you place yourself on the motorsport ladder,” explained Harry. “It’s important to find the right people and support structure to help me to develop both on and off the track. I can’t wait to get started, I know I’ve got a very steep learning curve ahead of me but I’m focused on working closely with the team to get the best possible results.”
Team Principle Tony Gilham arranged for Harry to have a test in one of their race-prepared Golfs to make sure he was totally happy with the move to cars, organising for British Touring Car Championship legend and ITV commentator Paul O’Neil to instruct Harry for the day.
Paul said: “I was so impressed with Harry, for a young lad he showed professionalism beyond his years. By the afternoon you would never have thought it was his first test in a car with an h-pattern gearbox, left hand drive and with lots of power. Harry showed great composure and raw speed. He’s going to be one to watch!”
Harry’s mum, Claire McQuillan, added: “Anyone involved in motorsport will understand how difficult it is to get to this stage, so Harry’s done exceptionally well. Tony at Team-Hard is keen to work with Harry over the next few seasons, with the aim of racing him at the highest level possible, whether that’s British Touring Car or GT.
“In motorsport, finances ultimately dictate your career path, but Harry understands the importance of cultivating partnerships with brands to make sure he’s able to race at the highest possible level.”