Team HARD Racing’s scholarship for Daryl DeLeon Taylor is already getting a step up mere months into 2023. With the stellar performance he has shown so far, they’ve decided to promote him to drive one of their Cupra Leóns in the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) for the remainder of the season.
The 17-year-old will be stepping in from Round 6 onwards at Croft Circuit by the end of July following the departure of one of the team’s drivers. This makes him the first-ever competitor from the Philippines to race in one of, if not the most popular touring car series in the world. He also gets to race alongside teammates that include the likes of ’18 TCR UK champion Daniel Lloyd and Nicolas Hamilton, the younger brother of 7-time Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton.
Daryl participated at the recent official Goodyear BTCC tire test at Donington Park where came out as a surprise on the time sheets. Despite it being his maiden appearance in a BTCC race car, he was able to quickly adapt to the new machinery and make it into the Top 10.
With this, the team believes that Daryl will help enhance their competitiveness in the BTCC by providing him with the opportunity to showcase his talent on a larger stage.
His drive in BTCC does not affect his participation in the British Endurance Championship (BEC). Also run by Team HARD Racing, he and Brad Thurston will continue in the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Car ’til the end of the season where they currently lead in the points. However, clashing schedules will force him to drop his title fight in the Radical Cup UK where he heads the SR3 PRO standings.
Daryl DeLeon Taylor: “I’m absolutely thrilled to have the chance to drive a touring car in the BTCC. I’m very grateful to Tony Gilham and Dave Tyson at Team HARD for extending this opportunity and for having faith in me. I’ve been racing with the team in the British Endurance Championship which has definitely helped me prepare for this step in my career. A Porsche 911 GT3 is not exactly the same as a touring car but the approach to racing is the same. Working with engineers, data analysts, car set-up and race strategy is all part of it so the more racing and seat time I can have, the better.”
Tony Gilham, Team HARD Managing Director: “I am delighted to welcome Daryl into our touring car operation. He has impressed us with his exceptional speed and performance, and we believe he has a bright future ahead. Daryl’s addition will bring a fresh dynamic to the team, and we are excited to see him in action for the remainder of the season.”
Daryl DeLeon Taylor is supported by Auntie Anne’s and Train Maintenance Services (TMS).