PANDA RACING founder Hamish Brandon has joined the Team-HARD revolution in a unique business partnership to provide high-quality parts and accessories across a number of top series and launch a campaign in the Milltek Sport VW Racing Cup.
The iconic Panda Racing branding will be on a Team Hard Golf as Hamish, from Hawick in the Scottish Borders, aims to take his next step up the motor racing ladder.
Hamish started in the Scottish Mini Cooper Cup before enjoying multiple wins in the British Mini Challenge. Now he is ready to take the next step.
But the agreement with Tony Gilham’s rapidly growing Team-HARD squad is more than just a driving deal. The two businesses will also team up, offering parts and accessories at ultra-competitive prices to the Team-HARD stable of drivers.
His season will start when the Milltek Sport VW Racing Cup kicks off at Rockingham at the end of April. Hamish has already shown he is on the pace in pre-season testing and will get race sharp with selected outings in the Maximumgroup.net VAG Trophy.
HAMISH SAYS: I will be racing in the VW Cup, hopefully for the full season. We have a lot of the budget. We just need to find the rest of it and we are working on that now.
It has been a real last-minute deal. We were introduced to Tony by Chris Smiley a few months ago and we have been working together to form a business partnership between Panda and Team-HARD to help Tony on products like adidas and Cobra Seats and several other products we will have down the line. In return, Tony will be helping to promote us. That partnership has been going really well. Tony built a new Golf and gave me the chance to jump in it. We have put the deal together and it feels to be the right fit.
It is a step up from the Minis. I didn’t do any karting but did Mini Coopers in Scotland then in England and then JCWs. They are all stepping stones and a way of progressing up the ladder and Tony provides that. The big draw was to be part of such a big team that has a touring car as well as a GT background. The VW Racing Cup is in the paddock with the GTs so that can help us raise the profile of Panda Racing.
The deal with Tony allows us to supply products and to meet other racers. We are trying to help Team-HARD fund their racing and we have the opportunity to earn a little too so it is a win-win situation. Panda stands for Parts and Accessories and we have some great brands. We exhibited at the Autosport Show for the first time. It was a huge gamble but we have been so busy since then. That is promising because it has helped enable us to go racing this year.
TONY SAYS: We met when Hamish came to the last VAG Trophy race last year with Chris Smiley. We hit it off straight away and he seems a perfect fit for the team as a person and as a business.
It is an extension of our network – the business hub that we operate. Hamish is as driven as me. We are very ambitious and if we can work together off track and help people on track then it is a perfect partnership. We have a lot of drivers under our banner and if we can steer them towards Hamish then they save money and he makes some money then it is another extension to what we are able to offer. It is part of our 10-year plan – admittedly we are eight years ahead on that plan but we are being very sensible in the series we are connected with. We have expanded from one to three cars in the British touring cars and British GT is always something we have wanted to be involved with.
We are a young team, we are a family team and we are very excited about the future. Hamish has come on board at the right time and it feels right. We are excited by what we can do on the track – the potential is clear to see – but the business is also very important. That feels right as well.
Twitter: @HamishB or @PandaRacingTeam
Find out more about the Milltek VW Racing Cup at:www.vwracingcup.co.uk/
*Picture Courtesy Of Derek Lunn