AmD Tuning.com have announced their plans to return to the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship for the 2012 season with Ollie Jackson on the opening day of the annual Autosport International show in Birmingham.
It will be Jackson’s first full season of BTCC competition having made his BTCC debut in the final two rounds of the 2011 season, taking a best finish of eleventh for the Triple Eight team. In 2012 he will pilot the team’s turbo-powered Volkswagen Golf, which proved to be one of the most improved cars on the grid last year.
Prior to his BTCC debut, the 27-year-old enjoyed success in Caterham racing before lifting the Pro-Am1 title in the Porsche Carrera Cup in 2010. A switch to the British GT Championship followed in 2011, where he took victory in the GT4 class at Spa, before the move into touring cars..
Jackson will now embark on a full pre-season testing programme with AmD Tuning.com at the wheel of the VW Golf before the opening BTCC rounds at Brands Hatch on the weekend of 31 March-1 April.
“After the two rounds last season in the Vectra, I knew the BTCC was where I wanted to be full-time in 2012 and I’m delighted that I’ve been able to agree a deal with AmD Tuning.com,” Jackson said. “I’m really pleased to have a deal confirmed nice and early, which will give me time to carry out some decent testing before the opening rounds.
“Since I moved into car racing, I’ve never had a full testing programme before the season started, so its good that I’ll be able to spend some meaningful time behind the wheel of the Golf, especially as I don’t have much experience of front-wheel drive.”
“My initial aim is to see where I stand when we get to Brands Hatch and then make improvements and move forwards. However, the Golf is a proven car that showed good pace in 2011 and my target is to bring home top ten finishes as the year goes on. The team has welcomed me onboard and I can’t wait to get started.”
In 2012 the AmD Tuning.com Golf will be powered by the same Lehmann-developed engine designed to the BTCC’s Next Generation Touring Car regulations. During the winter the team also carried out a series of tweaks in their aim to become regular top ten finishers.
“We spoke to a number of drivers about 2012 and are delighted we have been able to agree a deal with Ollie, and agree a deal this early in the year,” AmD Tuning.com team principal Shaun Hollamby said. “He will get the chance to test the Volkswagen for the first time in mid-February and that will be the first part of a full test programme ahead of the new season. That is an important part of our plans for 2012 as it will be the first time we have been able to carry out a full testing programme before the season starts.
“Ollie impressed me last year with his performances in the Triple Eight car when you consider that he hadn’t raced a front-wheel drive machine before, and I’m confident that he can help us take further steps forward and help us fight inside the top ten on a regular basis.
“We have made some tweaks to the Golf over the winter and are confident that the regulations in place for the new season will work in our favour as it should be easier for the series to equalise performance between the different turbo engines on the grid. We know we were down on power a little last year but I’m confident that the regulations will help with that this season, and with Ollie onboard, I’m looking forward to a successful 2012.”