Bobby Thompson has lost his race seat at Team HARD for the remaining rounds of the 2023 British Touring Car Championship season
His replacement, Michael Crees, will take over responsibilities from the chanpionship's annual visit to Croft on the 29th and 30th of July.
Team HARD stress that this decision was not taken lightly, and that the departure of Thompson from the team's driver rankings has nothing to do with him on or off track, there simply wasn't enough money there to support him in the seat.
With Team HARD running a record breaking 6 cars at the start of the 2023 season, It's no surprise that there has had to be cutbacks at the halfway stage given the economic state of the United Kingdom, With Jade Edwards off to Starline Racing as well, the midfield and back of the pack battle is certainly looking a lot less CUPRA dominated.
Whilst this annoucment may seem like the end of the line for Thompson, it's far from it. In the official statement given by Team HARD, They mention how Bobby will stay with the team at certain rounds of the championship.
"Despite his departure from racing with the team, Bobby will continue to show his loyalty and support by attending selected rounds of the BTCC season with the team." - Team HARD. Racing
Thompson may well be showing his loyalty to the team, but have they shown their loyalty to him through this change?
The whole situation is still a little bit blurry, The official article released from Team HARD. Racing states, 'Bobby has made the difficult decision to step down from his racing duties due to financial difficulties within the team.'
What we aren't being told, was if this was a self inflicted decision or whether Thompson's hand was forced by the team or people around him with the potential of Crees offering more money for the team on the horizon.
Crees will start with the team from Croft until the end of the season at a minimum. If the Kent driver performs well in the CUPRA, could it spell the end for Bobby Thompson and Team HARD?