AmD Milltek Racing with YourRacingCar.com has announced the signing of multiple race winner Tom Onslow-Cole to spearhead its assault on the 2011 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship.
Onslow-Cole finished fourth in the BTCC standings last season and was third in the Independents' championship having taken four victories over the course of the year in a Team Aon-run Ford Focus.
He will now replace Shaun Hollamby at the wheel of the AmD Volkswagen Golf after he elected to stand down from his combined role of team principle and driver to focus fully on managing the race programme and to give the team the best chance of on-track success.
“I would not have approached a driver of Tom's standing if I did not genuinely believe our Golf was going to be capable of some serious giant-killing acts in 2011,” Hollamby told BTCC.net
. “We've hit it off immediately and Tom has been very complimentary about our set-up – everyone involved is really buzzing as a result and we can't wait to get started with him.
“A huge amount of preparation and development work has gone into the Golf during the off-season – with a driver of Tom's technical know-how and natural speed we hope the following we gained in 2010 will become even stronger in 2011.”
For 2011, the Volkswagen has undergone a series of radical changes, the biggest of which sees the car fitted with a new turbo-charged engine designed to the BTCC's Next Generation Touring Car regulations.
That new engine, developed by Lehmann Motorentechnik in Leichtenstein and based on VW's two-litre engine TFSi unit, will give the Golf a noticeable boost in performance during the season ahead, with Onslow-Cole admitting there was a lot of potential in the new package.
“I really liked the feel of the engine in the SEAT [which he tested at Silverstone] and, having followed the Golf a few times on track last year when I was driving the Ford, I know already that it's a very nimble car around corners with a good change of direction and also very capable over the kerbs,” he said. “With the turbocharged TFSI engine fitted there's a lot of potential here. Of course we won't know exactly where we stand until we're in a properly competitive situation – such as the first qualifying session at Brands Hatch's opening round in two weeks. But I like the set-up here, Shaun has built a very knowledgeable, enthusiastic and positive group of people, I know the team will be built solely around me and I want to work with them and develop the Golf into a regular top ten menace.
“The additional support from YourRacingCar.com was an added incentive to join the team as the club gives its members a unique opportunity to have a direct involvement with the BTCC grid.”