By: Pat Cranham, BTCC Correspondent
- Onslow-Cole left AMD Miltek on Sunday
- Monday gives him a nice surprise
- Team Aon to field 3rd car
Following yesterday’s shock announcement that Tom Onslow-Cole has left the AmD Miltek team, today's news was yet another surprising development that he will rejoin Team Aon in a third ‘Global’ Ford Focus for the remainder of the season to drive alongside regular drivers Tom Chilton and Andy Neate.
Onslow-Cole drove for Team Aon for a season and a half starting midway from 2009 and last season took 4 victories on his way to 4th in the championship. Although his full season at Team Aon wasn’t without its controversy after he was twice asked to move out of the lead to allow Chilton to take the victories.
Although it always looked unlikely that he would rejoin Team Aon for 2011 Onslow-Cole shocked the BTCC paddock just prior to the start of the season by joining AmD Miltek in their VW Golf despite the team not scoring a point in 2010.
I’m very excited about the opportunities that lie ahead.
Things looked to be improving in the Golf having just had their best weekend to date at Thruxton however things didn’t go well at Oulton during qualifying taking a disastrous 20th and after two non points finishes in races 1 and 2 he didn’t take part in race 3 after it was announced that he would be departing the team after the weekend.
Following his return to Team Aon Onslow-Cole said, “I’d like to thank Tom Chilton for securing my return to Team Aon this season. We have been in regular touch and I know that he has been particularly persuasive in me rejoining the team. I’m looking forward to racing with Tom again this year and helping him and Andy develop the new car to its true potential this season. “I have some great memories from the 2010 season with Team Aon and I look forward to building on those in the new Global Ford Focus this year. I’m very excited about the opportunities that lie ahead.”
Team boss Mike Earle is also clearly excited about the return of Onslow-Cole and said, “Tom was a fantastic asset to the team last season and he makes a very welcome return. The new Focus has already proven itself with a podium in its first ever race weekend at Brands Hatch, but there is still a lot of work to do in developing the car further. We know from previous experience that Tom will provide a great deal of feedback and help us move forward as a team and we look forward to seeing all three cars move further up the standings as the season goes on.”
Onslow-Cole shocked 2010 AmD driver and team boss Shaun Hollamby along with the rest of team with his decision literally just prior to the third race of the day. Although Hollamby has no hard feelings and said, “We have enjoyed working with Tom during his short time as part of the AmD Milltek Racing.com team and wish him all the best for his future career. We were told of Tom’s decision 15 minutes before the final race today at Oulton Park and that he would no longer be driving for us.”
No decision has yet been made who will drive now for the team although a return to the driver’s seat must surely be a possibility for Hollamby with him saying, “AmD Milltek Racing.com is staffed by a strong and talented group of people who will continue working hard to build on the progress we have made this season. As a team, we remain focused on moving the Volkswagen Golf up the BTCC grid and will evaluate replacement drivers to allow us to continue with the progress made so far through the remainder of the season.”