British Touring Car Championship race winner James Cole has been announced as the series’ new driving standards advisor, following the decision by Jeff Allam to stand down from the role.
Cole, an experienced BTCC racer of 150 entries between 2013 and 2018, will take up the position for the 2021 season.
TOCA carefully assessed a number of candidates, appointing Cole as part of a three-strong panel which assesses on-track incidents in the championship.
32-year-old Cole drove both front-wheel drive and rear-wheel drive machinery during his stint in the BTCC, picking up one win and pole position in his 144 starts, the high point being at Rockingham in 2017 when he won in a Team BMR Subaru Levorg.
Cole also has previous experience in Formula Ford from 2008 to 2009, before he moved on to Formula 3 and then Formula 2.
Cole made his BTCC début in 2013 in a Vauxhall, before going on to race in Toyota, Subaru and Ford machinery.
“I am delighted to accept this wonderful opportunity and proud to be back in the BTCC paddock,” said Cole, 32, whose role will see him attend every BTCC race in 2021.
“I always loved my time in Britain’s best motorsport series and feel that I can bring a well-rounded experience to the role, particularly having driven modern-day machinery, as well as understanding the dynamics of a BTCC race weekend.
“I will have been on both sides of the fence, having had many of my incidents assessed in the past, so I am as much there to understand the drivers’ point of view, as I am to ensure that the rules and regulations of the series are upheld.”
BTCC Chief Executive Alan Gow believes that Cole is an ideal replacement for the outgoing 65-year-old Allam, who had raced in the series from 1977 to 1995.
“James has the ideal background for this important role,” said Gow. “He has raced in our championship over the course of six years in both front and rear wheel-drive current generation BTCC cars, is a race-winner and has been in the thick of the modern BTCC environment…
“I’ve no doubt James will bring great equanimity to the role.”