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Tom Onslow-Cole returns to Team HARD for three BTCC events

Tom Onslow-Cole will return to the British Touring Car Championship for the first time since 2013 when he replaces the injured Ollie Brown at Team HARD in the upcoming events at Thruxton, Silverstone and Croft.

Onslow-Cole, 33, was a regular in the BTCC between 2007 and 2013, collecting seven victories and 36 podiums in the process, before leaving at the end of 2013 to focus on sportscar racing.

He won the International GT Open title in 2018 and 2019, and has also competed in British GT and the SRO GT World Challenge series.

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Brown was injured in a race three accident at Oulton Park last month, forcing the BTCC rookie to miss the last event at Knockhill. He has now been ruled out of further events after suffering a hairline fracture of the rib.

Team HARD recently announced it would retire its venerable Volkswagen CC at the end of 2020 in favour of a switch to new CUPRA machinery, giving Onslow-Cole one last time to race the model he last raced in 2013.

“I’m super excited to be stepping back into the BTCC and reuniting with some old friends at Team HARD Racing,” said Onslow-Cole. “The team has grown enormously since I last raced here, and I am grateful for this opportunity to come my way.

“I was lucky enough to debut the Volkswagen CC back in 2013 and even took the cars first podium at Thruxton of that season and when the team announced that they would be retiring the CC at the end of the season I thought to myself ‘it would be awesome to get one last go’.

“When Tony gave me the call, I jumped at the opportunity of getting back behind the wheel in the car’s final season in the BTCC, in what feels like a fitting end to its participation in the series.

“Naturally, it’s never nice to hear that a fellow driver has been injured whilst out on the track and I wish Ollie a speedy recovery from his injuries.

“I look forward to linking up with Jack [Goff] once again after seven years, and meeting Nic [Hamilton], to extract the maximum out of the car.”

Tony Gilham, Managing Director of Team HARD Racing, is looking forward to reuniting with Onslow-Cole, who will dovetail his BTCC commitments around his European GT racing campaign.

“The world remains in a funny place at the moment and this BTCC season is proving to be no different,” said Gilham.

“As other teams and drivers have proved getting onto the grid for 2020 is very tricky and it would have been easy for us to retire the car until Ollie returns.

“Knowing that this will be the last season of the Volkswagen CC and for us to make the best of this situation I thought I’d give Tom a call and see what his plans were for this season.

“Despite commitments to other series for 2020 Tom was up for the challenge of getting back into the BTCC and fortunately for himself and the team he can commit to the next three race weekends.

“Tom’s racing record both in and away from the BTCC speaks for itself, and his achievements since he was last with us are remarkable.

“It’s a great achievement to acquire a driver of top pedigree at this stage of a very unique season of motorsport.”

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