ONSLOW-COLE TO TEE OFF IN A GOLF AT BRANDS HATCH
Tom Onslow-Cole will be going back to his first love in a JabbaSport prepared Mk2 Golf. Photo: John Cooper
British GT contender and ex-BTCC star Tom Onslow-Cole will go back to his roots at our South Eastern Centre Brands Hatch meeting on the 14th/15th of June by entering the Teekay Couplngs Production GTI Championship as a celebrity guest.
Onslow-Cole, whose first car was a Mk2 Golf, has managed to find the time amongst a busy British and European GT schedule, as well as numerous guest and endurance drives, to enter the burgeoning BRSCC championship.
Now in its fourth year, the PGTIs are proving to be a very popular way for club racers to get their competitive fix. Thanks to clever and consistent regulations keeping the emphasis on talent and set-up rather than the size of team chequebooks, grids of almost 30 have been the norm, with a capacity entry of 32 cars expected for Brands.
Classes are split into 8- and 16-valve categories, and Onslow-Cole will be in with more than a shot at the top step, piloting a well proven 16v car prepared by series stalwarts, JabbaSport and running with livery from his personal sponsors, Casio Edifice and Milltek Sport. However, despite the Surrey race ace's clear talent behind the wheel, he isn't expecting it all his own way.
"I've seen some of the laps times from these guys, and there are some seriously quick drivers to compete with," Tom explained. “Brands Indy is a circuit that I know and love, but I'm still expecting a real fight to get near the front!"
But, as a man with a plethora of drives and cars on offer, what led him to go back to a grass roots drive for the day? "I'm still a racer at heart," he smiles. "I love getting back to square one with opportunities like this, and there's a real purity and camaraderie in championships like the PGTI. The V12 Vantage may be my 'office' for most of the season, but if there's space in the diary and people are kind enough to offer, who wouldn't want to have a dust up and a laugh in a great car like the Golf?"
Clearly pleased to have such a big name joining the ranks for the Brands meet, championship organiser Rob Sadler commented. "Tom is such a great driver and we’re obviously delighted to have him driving with us for the day. In his role as MSA Head Coach, Tom clearly likes to keep a keen interest in club level motorsport, so it's fantastic that he is interested in a feeder series like the Teekay Couplings Production GTIs. It's a wonderful boost for the Championship and a fantastic reward for all of the hard work of the organising team and our long standing sponsors."
For more information on the Teekay Couplings PGTI Championship, please click to www.productiongti.com