Tom Chilton will return to the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship next season after signing to lead Vauxhall's factory supported return to the tin-top series in 2017.
Chilton, who made his BTCC debut aged just 17, spent ten years racing in the BTCC between 2002 and 2011 but has more recently competed in the World Touring Car Championship.
For 2017 Chilton will return to British shores to join Power Maxed Racing, who will enter a pair of Vauxhall Astras for the 31 year-old and BTCC rookie Senna Procter
“I am delighted to be back in the BTCC, I have continued to watch as a fan while racing in World Touring Cars and the itch to get back behind the wheel on British soil has never gone away,” he said.
“So you can imagine how excited I was when Adam got in touch, plus to get to return in a Vauxhall Astra, a car that I know and love is a dream. I am confident that Power Maxed Racing will be front runners and scoring podiums, the team are fantastic, and I can't wait to get behind the wheel.”
“I have known Tom for a while now and followed his career with interest, which has now paid off,” said team principal Adam Weaver. “His experience and work ethic is second to none, he knows what's coming and will be a great role model for Senna as well as a proven race winner. We knew last year that we had the ingredients for success but like a cake you can't rush it, but maybe, just maybe this year we can have our cake and eat it!”
Chilton's signing comes following the confirmation that Vauxhall will make a soft return to BTCC in partnership with Power Maxed Racing, seven years after the manufacturer quit the series having largely dominated throughout the 2000s.
Chilton – whose younger brother Max raced in F1 and currently competes in IndyCar – won 10 races during his time in BTCC, with a best result of fifth overall in 2005 and 2010. He won four races at world championship level during stints racing with Ford, Chevrolet and Citroen.