Touring cars gear up for North Yorkshire

Tom Onslow-Cole has revealed he felt at home immediately after getting behind the wheel of Team Aon’s new Ford Focus as he prepares for his first race in the car at Croft in the next round of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship.

The 24-year-old left the AmD Milltek team after the Oulton Park event two weeks ago and has returned to the team where he won four times last year.

Onslow-Cole had his first taste of the ‘Global’ Focus at Brands Hatch in the week leading up to Croft and he told he was instantly comfortable in his new surroundings.

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“The car felt quite homely straight away. Finding all the buttons and switches all came very naturally which sometimes isn’t the case with new cars,” he said.

“From the vibe in the pit garage the team seem pretty happy to see me back as well - obviously we went through a lot of emotions together in 2010. Tom Chilton (his new team-mate) also came down to Brands today and I have to say a big thanks to him - he’s been very supportive of my move back to Team Aon.”

The former Renault Clio Cup champion also admitted it was a difficult decision to leave AmD Milltek and thanked Shaun Hollamby, the team principal for giving him a competitive car.

He said: “Shaun and I remain good pals but the Aon deal was too good to turn down. I need to say a big thank you to him for putting me out there for the first part of the season and keeping my name in the frame.

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“It was a bit of a wrench leaving AmD as they’re a cracking team and have all the ingredients to thrive in the future. The fact that so many people have been in touch with the team wanting to drive the Golf shows how seriously people are now taking them.”

The fight for the lead of the driver’s championship will continue at Croft as Honda Racing Team’s Gordon Shedden will be aiming to build on his recent good form and overtake early leader Matt Neal, with only two points separating them at the top.

Defending champion Jason Plato is 10 points behind Shedden in fifth place, but is always excited about racing at the North Yorkshire circuit.

“I absolutely love going to the North East. I’ll see some family, a few pals will come along to the race and some friends of my mum and dad will pitch up, so from that perspective it’s great,” he said.

“Also, I get a terrific reception from the northern crowd, so it’s a great place to go win, lose or draw.”

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