2012 British GT champion Michael Caine will return to the series this season aboard the second of Autoaid/RCIB Insurance Racing’s two 2017-spec Ginetta G55 GT4s as co-driver to Mike Newbould.
The Team HARD-run squad claimed the GT4 teams’ title during its maiden campaign and confirmed at the start of January that Howard Fuller and Sam Webster would join forces in the first of its Ginettas.
Now it has unveiled Caine, who claimed the overall GT3 crown alongside Daniele Perfetti aboard a Motorbase Performance-run Porsche 997 four years ago, will partner Ginetta Supercup graduate Newbould throughout 2017.
Caine, who also competed in British GT from 2001 to 2007 before twice finishing as Porsche Carrera Cup GB runner-up, contested a handful of BTCC races with Team HARD last season before injury curtailed his involvement. Now he’s eager to bounce back.
“After 2016 went pear-shaped, I’m really looking forward to competing in a championship again,” he said. “Last year was the first time in 26 years of racing that I didn’t have a championship to compete in.
“Then the guys at Team HARD gave me an opportunity in British Touring Cars that unfortunately didn’t really get started. But I think we have a good chance this season; GT4 looks like it’s the future.”
Caine also finished as British GT runner-up in 2014 and will work closely with his relatively inexperienced Pro-Am co-driver and namesake Newbould, who plans to learn as much as he can from the former champion.
“I am incredibly excited to be part of Team HARD’s British GT campaign for 2017,” he said. “I can’t thank Tony enough for putting this together; the opportunity to race alongside Michael is fantastic for a new driver.
“I am really looking forward to drawing on Michael’s skill and experience to help me develop as a racer in what is going to be a busy and exciting year ahead in British GT.”
Team boss Tony Gilham added: “It is great to have secured the services of Michael for the coming season as he brings so much to the table both on and off track. He is a seasoned professional and can only add strength to the team as a whole.
“We are very excited to see how he develops his relationship with Mike throughout the season and feel that there is a genuine possibility of the Pro/Am title. Mike hasn’t had much seat time so far but with such an experienced partner to learn from we look forward to seeing how he progresses.”