Reigning Renault Clio Cup UK champion Ant Whorton-Eales will make his British Touring Car Championship debut next season after securing a deal to pilot an Audi S3 with AmD.
Having secured the popular one-make series by a slender eight point margin ahead of Mike Bushell last season, Whorton-Eales now becomes the fifth former Clio Cup racer to take to the BTCC in AmD colours – the others being Tom Onslow-Cole, Dave Newsham, Martin Byford and Bushell.
Whorton-Eales, a member of the BRDC’s Rising Star programme, took nine victories and a further podium finish en route to his championship victory.
He will also be eligible to compete in the Jack Sears Trophy by virtue of being a rookie, and will look to emulate Ashley Sutton in winning the accolade in his debut season.
“It’s no secret that I wanted to move into the BTCC this season and we’ve spent a lot of time looking at the various options that were available,” Ant said.
“Once we spoke to Shaun about his plans with the second Audi, the deal was a very easy one to do and it was all wrapped up within a day.
“I’m delighted to be able to confirm my place on the touring car grid, and I think that I’ve made a good choice in AmDTuning.com for my first season. The team has plenty of experience and there is a lot of potential in the Audi that I aim to benefit from.
“As a rookie driver, the main target has to be the Jack Sears Trophy and it would be nice if we could be pushing towards the top ten in the championship by the end of the year.
“Of course that won’t be easy and I’m aware that I have a lot to learn, but I also want to aim high and make the most of the opportunity I now have.”
Team Principal Shaun Hollamby was elated with his team’s latest acquisition, and believes alongside Ollie Jackson, Whorton-Eales has the potential to make this an impressive season for the outfit.
“From the moment we confirmed that we would have a second car on the grid, we’ve spoken to a number of drivers who were keen to join us for 2017, and we’re delighted to have been able to a deal with Ant to fill the seat,” he said. “Even before winning the Clio title last year, he had shown his potential on track and we’re confident that he will be a strong addition to the grid this year.
“Having already won the Jack Sears Trophy once a few years ago, it would be great if we could secure it again this year and there is no doubt we have a fantastic chance with Ant.
“Alongside Ollie Jackson, he gives us a strong partnership for our first full season as a two-car BTCC team and we go into 2017 with our focus firmly on fighting for regular points and on pushing towards the top ten.
“With everything now in place for the new season, we also want to thank Cobra Sport Performance Exhausts for their continued support, as without that help, we wouldn’t have been able to expand to a two car BTCC team.”
The AmD Audi S3 takes pride of place on the Dunlop BTCC stand at the Autosport International Show, which continues at the NEC in Birmingham until 15th January. Public are admitted from Saturday 14th at 09:00.