Tom Oliphant to take sabbatical from racing in 2022

Tom Oliphant has confirmed that he will not compete in next year’s British Touring Car Championship, as the 31-year-old moves to Australia in support of his fiancée.

Oliphant has competed in the BTCC since 2018, and with Team BMW since 2019, during which time he has accrued 116 starts from 117 entries.

Next year, Oliphant will take a voluntary sabbatical, supporting his fiancée Gen in her career down under.

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Oliphant has claimed two victories and ten podium finishes in his BTCC career to-date, with the 2020 season proving to be his best when he ended the year sixth overall in the drivers’ championship.

“In some ways, this was the hardest and easiest decision to make,” said Oliphant. “I’ve worked hard for many years to build my career in motorsport and establish myself as a front-runner in the British Touring Car Championship, so to step back from that is naturally hard.

“None of that would have been possible without Gen though and her incredible support for the last decade. She’s made a lot of sacrifices to help me achieve my goals, and the time is right for me to repay that and support her successful career.

“Moving to Australia is a big and positive life change for our family. While I may be based on the other side of the world, I will still be working in the TOCA paddock and across UK motorsport with my PR and design company Next Level Motorsport.

“Our team will still be on the ground at all events, ensuring our clients will receive the same fantastic service they always have, and I’ll be making some trips across to the UK through the year to work directly with them all.

“I want to make clear that this is not my retirement or the end of my career. While I won’t be racing next year, I fully intend to get back behind the wheel again and will be looking at offers for 2023 and beyond, whether in the UK or potentially Australia.

“At this point, I’d like to say a huge thank you to all the teams that I’ve raced for in recent years, including Century Motorsport, Redline Racing, Ciceley Motorsport and West Surrey Racing. The mechanics, engineers and everyone else in the teams have made it a really enjoyable experience.

“Thank you also to all the volunteers that have made it possible for me to race, to all my fans and supporters for their backing over the years, to the photographers and media personnel, and to my friends and family, especially my Dad, for all their incredible support through my career.”

WSR Team Principal Dick Bennetts thanked Oliphant for his efforts in helping to secure the BTCC Manufacturers’ title and last year’s Teams’ title.

“I speak on behalf of all at WSR and Team BMW when I say a big thank you to Tom for his contribution over the past three seasons, which has helped us to win three BTCC Manufacturers’ titles for BMW plus the 2020 Teams’ Championship in what’s been one of the most successful spells in the 40-year history of our organisation,” said Bennetts.

“We’re extremely proud to have helped him become a BTCC race winner, something he achieved with an outstanding drive under immense pressure at Brands Hatch last year that none of us are likely to forget any time soon.

“Tom and Gen have very much become part of the family here at WSR and we’ll be sorry not to have them around next year. We all wish them the very best for 2022 and beyond.”

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