Photo: Jakob Ebrey

Tom Onslow-Cole to make BTCC return

Tom Onslow-Cole will make a return to the British Touring Car Championship for the next three rounds of the season after agreeing a deal to rejoin Team HARD.

Onslow-Cole will replace Ollie Brown as he continues to recover from the injuries he sustained in his accident at Oulton Park, and will partner Jack Goff at Thruxton, Silverstone and Croft.

Brown is then set to return to the seat for Snetterton and the Brands Hatch season finale.

Onslow-Cole previously raced for Tony Gilham’s team back in 2013 when it gave the Volkswagen CC its debut in the series, scoring the first podium for the car at Thruxton and taking two further top three finishes.

The three-round deal will mark the 33-year-old’s first BTCC outing since the final round of the 2013 campaign, although he did take part in the two-day Snetterton tyre test back in 2018 in one of the Volkswagens after the departure of Jake Hill.

“I’m super excited to be stepping back into the BTCC and reuniting with some old friends at Team HARD Racing,” Onslow-Cole said. “The team has grown enormously since I last raced here, and I am grateful for this opportunity to come my way.

“I was lucky enough to debut the Volkswagen CC back in 2013 and even took the cars first podium at Thruxton of that season and when the team announced that they would be retiring the CC at the end of the season I thought to myself ‘it would be awesome to get one last go’. When Tony gave me the call, I jumped at the opportunity of getting back behind the wheel in the car’s final season in the BTCC, in what feels like a fitting end to its participation in the series.

“Naturally, it’s never nice to hear that a fellow driver has been injured whilst out on the track and I wish Ollie a speedy recovery from his injuries but I look forward to linking up with Jack once again after seven years, and meeting Nic (Hamilton), to extract the maximum out of the car.”

Team boss Tony Gilham said he was delighted to confirm that the seven-time race winner will be back in one of his cars for his return to action.

“The world remains in a funny place at the moment and this BTCC season is proving to be no different,” he said. “As other teams and drivers have proved getting onto the grid for 2020 is very tricky and it would have been easy for us to retire the car until Ollie returns.

“Knowing that this will be the last season of the Volkswagen CC and for us to make the best of this situation I thought I’d give Tom a call and see what his plans were for this season. Despite commitments to other series for 2020, Tom was up for the challenge of getting back into the BTCC and fortunately for himself and the team he can commit to the next three race weekends.

“Tom’s racing record both in and away from the BTCC speaks for itself, and his achievements since he was last with us are remarkable. It’s a great achievement to acquire a driver of top pedigree at this stage of a very unique season of motorsport.”