Tom Chilton will return to the British Touring Car Championship after a five-year absence, after signing to drive for Power Maxed Racing for the 2017 season in their new Vauxhall Astra.
The 31-year-old will be a Vauxhall factory driver again, after last driving for the marque in 2007. With no clashes between the British and World Touring Car Championship calendars in 2017, Chilton is set to be the first driver to compete in full seasons of both series, though his WTCC deal is still to be finalised.
“I am delighted to be back in the BTCC,” said Chilton.
“I have continued to watch as a fan while racing in World Touring Cars, and the itch to get back behind the wheel on British soil has never gone away. So you can imagine how excited I was when Adam (Weaver, PMR team principal) got in touch.
“Plus, to get to return in a Vauxhall Astra, a car that I know and love, is a dream. I am confident that Power Maxed Racing will be front runners and scoring podiums. The team are fantastic and I can’t wait to get behind the wheel.”
Chilton will pair up with 18-year-old Senna Proctor at the two-car programme, with the team fielding its third all-new line-up in as many years. The squad ran Dave Newsham and Josh Cook in their debut season in 2015, before signing Hunter Abbott and Kelvin Fletcher last year, in both years running the RML-developed Chevrolet Cruze.
Chilton last raced in the BTCC in 2011, then driving for Arena Motorsport in their Ford Focus, with Chilton winning the final race of the season at Silverstone before both the driver and team departed for the WTCC in 2012.