Tom Oliphant will make a one-off return to the British Touring Car Championship at Thruxton this weekend, replacing Will Powell in one of Team HARD’s CUPRA Leon cars.
Oliphant, 32, raced full-time in the BTCC between 2018 and 2021, initially with Ciceley Motorsport for his début season, before then spending three years at Team BMW from 2019 to 2021.
During that time, Oliphant won twice and scored ten podium finishes, all in rear-wheel drive machinery.
Last year, Oliphant announced he would be taking a sabbatical from racing in order to move to Australia with his fiancée Gen to support her career.
His appearance on the grid this weekend marks a return to a front-wheel drive touring car, and the first time he has driven the CUPRA will be in a shakedown session today (26 August).
“This was certainly unexpected,” said Oliphant. “I’m only back in the UK for a few weeks and I was planning to come down to Thruxton to meet friends and colleagues in the paddock again, so it’s lucky timing that I got the call from Tony [Gilham – team principal] asking if I wanted to step in.
“It was a pretty easy decision to say yes and come racing again! I love the British Touring Car Championship and after four great years in the series, it’s been tough watching on from the other side of the world.
“There’s no pressure on me this weekend, I’m here to get back in the swing of things, have some fun and maybe pick up some points along the way.”