The vacant drive at Team RAC was arguably the most attractive on the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship grid - but has now gone the way of teenager Tom Onslow-Cole, who will step up from the Renault Clio Cup.

The Clio champion will make his BTCC debut in the second BMW 320si alongside Colin Turkington and Crash.net spoke to him to see how he felt...

Q:
Tom, congratulations on the deal. You must be delighted, not only to be making the step up to the BTCC, but to also be making that step with such a leading team?

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Tom Onslow-Cole:
Yes, thank you. I'm ecstatic; the whole thing is so surreal and hasn't really sunk in yet. It's so amazing to not only make the step into touring cars, but to do it with Team RAC who are a front running team with a front running car. It's an unbelievable opportunity.

Q:
Looking back to 2006 it was the Clio Cup and a chance to show the BTCC teams what you could do. You took the title in dominant style, did you expect the year to go as well as it did?

Tom Onslow-Cole:
I didn't really know what to expect back at the start of 2006. 2005 had gone quite well for us but we had a bit of bad luck through the year and we were tipped as favourites for the title last season. But half way through the year, I started having to pinch myself. It was a fantastic year, it went so well.

Q:
It's been a while since the rumours started that you were attracting the attention of Team RAC and Dick Bennetts? How did the deal come about?

Tom Onslow-Cole:
It was only signed two weeks ago but we started the process quite a while ago now, half way through last season. We approached WSR and went to meet them. I saw the team and met a few people and from then on, they were the only people we spoke to. They made us feel quite welcome, I went there with my dad, and when we left, we left with a good feeling and decided it was where we wanted to go. But then I had to go out and prove myself worthy of the seat.

Q:
You're coming into a seat in arguably the best S2000 car out there in the BMW 320si. How exciting is it to be making your touring car debut in the same model of car that has just won the WTCC title?

Tom Onslow-Cole:
It's an unbelievable feeling and I have the best chance to do well. It's an amazing car although I've yet to test it and I can't wait to get my hands on it. It's a very nice office that's for sure!

Q:
How much are you looking forward to getting behind the wheel for the first time?

Tom Onslow-Cole:
I can't wait and we will doing some pre-season testing before we go out to start the season.

Q:
It's a big change from the front wheel drive Clio to the rear wheel drive BMW. How difficult, or easy, do you expect that transition to be?

Tom Onslow-Cole:
I'm not expecting it to be too difficult. I've spoken to a lot of experienced people and they say it is harder to go the other way, which I've done before when I went from T Cars into Clios. I do have some rear wheel drive experience and I'm hoping it won't cause too much of a problem.

Q:
You've got a young but experienced team-mate in Colin Turkington. How much are you looking forward to racing with Colin?

Tom Onslow-Cole:
It's fantastic, it's the icing on the cake really. To be in a proven team with a proven car, and alongside a proven team-mate is unbelievable. I hope that I can learn a lot from him and also push him on a bit too.

Q:
Going into the first season, what are your aims?

Tom Onslow-Cole:
I think, half way through the season, if I can start getting up onto the podium then that would be fantastic.

Q:
Do you think there is chance of you picking up a first win?

Tom Onslow-Cole:
Definitely. I have Team RAC behind me and the right car, so hopefully by the end of the year we can be pushing on for victories. I think it will be a good year for the BTCC and I think its going to be very orange!