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Tom Onslow-Cole: ‘It’s exciting times’

One of the surprises of Donington Park qualifying, Team / Kraftwerk Racing driver Tom Onslow-Cole is optimistic of securing top ten finishes in Sunday’s races.

Onslow-Cole looked set for a top ten qualifying result until he was demoted late in the session by Jeff Smith. Nevertheless the Team HARD driver secured a promising 11th place grid position for Sunday’s opening race in a car less than a month old.

“It’s a good showing and a big improvement from where we were at Brands Hatch,” said Onslow-Cole to TouringCars.Net. “It’s a really good step forward and there’s still lots to come from the car. It’s not there by any stretch of the imagination but for two weeks work we’re quite happy – it’s a big gain.

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“The car was barely finished for Brands Hatch, it’s more finished now and it’s still definitely not quite finished. It shows that we’re good and performance is starting to come from the car. It’s exciting times and who knows what three or four races down the road will bring.

“We’re having a few little issues here and there but no more than anyone else down the pitlane – with race cars and the way we drive them you’re always going to get some issues. She seems fairly reliable at the moment and we’re happy with how the set-up is progressing.”

Onslow-Cole knows that it’s still early days and so is hoping for consistent race results in Sunday’s three races.

“There’s a lot of unknowns for tomorrow – I’ve heard we’re due a little rain as well and we’ve never been out in the wet. If we can come away with three top tens tomorrow we’ll have had a fantastic day.”

Team Principal Tony Gilham was also delighted with the team’s early-season pace, adding that Saturday’s running at Donington Park has essentially been another shakedown session.

“It’s a not a bad start,” said Gilham. “It’s another shakedown session for us on another new circuit with the new car. To only be a second off at the end of a session we feel that we’re in a strong position so we’re happy with that. There’s plenty more to come from that car.

Gilham also added that he was happy with the performance of the team’s two Vauxhall Insignias, driven by Jack Goff and James Cole. The two young drivers ended qualifying in 19th and 26th respectively.

“We had a hard-line failure on the brakes in FP1 for Jack but the reliability is there,” added Gilham. “Jack has good pace in the car – he’s only six tenths off Tom after half a session and he was on used tyres.

“We’ve completely rebuilt the Insignias to match the level of the Passat because they were somewhat off when we got them. We’ve built three new cars and everyone knows our fourth car is practically done and it’s just a matter of time until we get it out onto the track. All of the cars have got massive potential and we’re getting closer and closer to unlocking it.

“The signs are good. We know it’s going to be a learning season for the team both on track and off track. We’re eager to learn and are very ambitious so we’re going to just keep pushing on and do the best job we can.

“Realistically we’re aiming for the top ten. I feel there’s potential in the Passat – it could be even higher than that. If we get in the top ten or top twelve with all three cars then we’ll be in a good place.”

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