Ollie Jackson joins Welch Motorsport for 2014 BTCC
Ollie Jackson has signed for Welch Motorsport and will drive a second Proton Persona alongside Dan Welch in the 2014 British Touring Car Championship.
Speaking to TouringCarTimes at the Autosport International Show, Welch said: “It is exciting times. The team is growing. It has always been the plan to run two cars, and it is the first year we have been able to get it together early enough. It is all coming together – the ducks are all lined up, and it is going to be really good.”
New Welch Motorsport team-mates Welch and Jackson say a healthy rivalry between the pair will help push the team forward in 2014. The Hampshire-based squad is expanding to two NGTC cars for the first time, with a second Proton Persona being built to run alongside the car Welch has driven since 2011.
“At the end of the day we have got to beat each other. You have your own rivalry, but it has got to be an open relationship, and you help each other all the way though,” said Welch.
Jackson said: “Dan approached me a couple of weeks before Christmas and it has gone from there. We have been talking over Christmas and we finalised it last weekend.
“I’m really excited. It is my childhood dream to race in touring cars, and they are a great bunch of guys here.
“Being a larger chap, having a much lighter car helps – which the Proton is, thankfully! I’m looking forward to driving a car on the minimum weight for the first time in my career.
“Suspension-wise, it sounds like Dan and the guys have a good baseline setup, so it is nice to start off with a car which is solid already. All the fundamentals are there for a good season.”
Talking about his aims for the year, Jackson added: “I always say regular top 10 finishes, but you never know in touring cars. I would expect to be doing better than I did last year.”
Welch added he was hoping to announce the team’s engine plans soon.
He said: “There are lots of exciting things in the pipeline. If it goes as planned it is going to be very good.”
Welch finished 18th in the 2013 BTCC, two places ahead of Jackson.