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Ollie Jackson Confirmed at AmD

AmD has confirmed that it will be returning to the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship with their VW Golf after it announced that former Porsche Carrera Cup GB Pro-Am 1 Champion Ollie Jackson will drive for the team in 2012.

The announcement, which was made ahead of the Autosport Show at the NEC in Birmingham, will see Jackson compete in his first full season in the BTCC, after a two race weekend campaign with Triple Eight last season.

Before the twenty-seven year old – originally from Reigate in Surrey but who now resides in Attleborough, Norfolk – turned his attentions to touring cars, he had made his name in Caterhams before being crowned 2010 Porsche Carrera Cup GB Pro-Am 1 Champion, and he spent the 2011 campaign racing a Lotus Evora in the GT4 division of British GT, taking a class victory at Spa.

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Jackson will embark on a full pre-season test programme ahead of his first weekend in the Golf, at the team’s local round at Brands Hatch over the 31 March/1 April.

“After the two rounds last season in the Vectra, I knew the BTCC was where I wanted to be full-time in 2012 and I’m delighted that I’ve been able to agree a deal with AmD,” Jackson said. “I’m really pleased to have a deal confirmed nice and early, which will give me time to carry out some decent testing before the opening rounds.

“Since I moved into car racing, I’ve never had a full testing programme before the season started, so it’s good that I’ll be able to spend some meaningful time behind the wheel of the Golf, especially as I don’t have much experience of front-wheel drive.

“My initial aim is to see where I stand when we get to Brands Hatch and then make improvements and move forwards. However, the Golf is a proven car that showed good pace in 2011 and my target is to bring home top ten finishes as the year goes on. The team has welcomed me onboard and I can’t wait to get started.”

The teams’ decision to sign Jackson – who secured a best result of eleventh while at Triple Eight – comes on the back of a breakthrough season for the team, as they secured their first points finishes at Donington Park and Thruxton, while Thruxton saw them qualify inside the top ten for the opening race.

The basic package is the same as the 2011 package, with the car being powered by a Lehmann-developed engine, which has been designed to the new regulations which have been introduced in the BTCC, the NGTC regulations.

Team Principal of AmD, Shaun Hollamby said: “We have made some tweaks to the Golf over the winter and are confident that the regulations in place for the new season will work in our favour as it should be easier for the series to equalise performance between the different turbo engines on the grid. We know we were down on power a little last year but I’m confident that the regulations will help with that this season, and with Ollie onboard, I’m looking forward to a successful 2012.”

He went on to add about the announcement: “We spoke to a number of drivers about 2012 and are delighted we have been able to agree a deal with Ollie, and agree a deal this early in the year,” AmD team principal Shaun Hollamby said. “He will get the chance to test the Volkswagen for the first time in mid-February and that will be the first part of a full test programme ahead of the new season. That is an important part of our plans for 2012 as it will be the first time we have been able to carry out a full testing programme before the season starts.

“Ollie impressed me last year with his performances in the Triple Eight car when you consider that he hadn’t raced a front-wheel drive machine before, and I’m confident that he can help us take further steps forward and help us fight inside the top ten on a regular basis.”

The 2012 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship gets underway at Brands Hatch over the 31 March/1 April while the official Media Day takes place at Silverstone on March 19.

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