Tom Onslow-Cole has announced that he will not race in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship in 2014 in an effort to further his career in sportscar racing.
The 26-year-old made his BTCC debut with Team RAC BMW in 2007 and has gone on to enjoy success over the coming years driving Vauxhall, Ford and Volkswagen machinery, notching up seven wins and 35 podium finishes in that time.
However, despite claiming to have a 2014 offer on the table with a team that he felt could challenge for the title, Onslow-Cole has decided to look beyond the BTCC for 2014 with a view to exploring options at sportscar level.
“The British Touring Car Championship has been my home for many years and I still believe it is one of the greatest series in the world. I had a serious opportunity to race in the championship again this year, with, what I believe, is a team capable of winning the title. However, after much thought, I've decided to explore some other options outside of the BTCC.
“I've been looking into sportscar racing since the start of last year when the chance to test and compete in an Aston Martin Vantage GT3 came my way. Since then I've raced in Dubai 24 Hours and am looking to continue this momentum with some further GT outings.
“That said, this isn't the end of me and the BTCC. I have unfinished business here and I'm sure I'll be back one day to complete the job. For now, I'm widening my experience as a driver and exploring what could be some very exciting career opportunities.
“I'd like to thank TOCA, all the fans, the teams and my sponsors that have supported me throughout the last 10 years. It's been an awesome ride and I hope the next 10 years live up to it.”
Onslow-Cole enjoyed his strongest BTCC season in 2010 driving the Team Aon Ford Focus ST LPG, the finishing fourth overall with four race wins.