Tom Oliphant officially launched his 2018 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship season earlier this week as he announced his sponsors for the upcoming campaign and unveiled his eye-catching new livery during the championship’s official media day.
Oliphant will embark on his maiden BTCC campaign with the valued support for a third consecutive season of Philips automotive lighting, one of the world’s largest suppliers of quality lighting products to the automotive industry and aftermarket.
The 27 year old is also continuing a long term relationship with Horizon Specialities, a leading player in the global arena of Natural and Synthetic Colours, while he is also embarking on a new venture with digital marketing agency eJIGSAW.
The supporters come together to create a stunning chrome green livery for Oliphant’s Ciceley Motorsport Mercedes A-Class, which received a great reception as it was shown to the media and fans for the first time at Donington Park on Tuesday (27th March).
As well as conducting a number of media interviews and photoshoots, the day also provided Oliphant with his first opportunity to see how he shapes up against his competition for 2018 during an official four-hour test session in the afternoon.
Oliphant, who has also been chosen as a brand ambassador for the Marchand Watch Company this season, was crucially able to test in a range of track conditions as a wet circuit dried as the afternoon progressed, ensuring he and Ciceley got plenty of valuable data for the season.
It would be a generally trouble free run for Oliphant as he got to complete a number of simulated race and qualifying runs, with that track time along with other recent tests at Donington, Snetterton and Brands Hatch ensuring he is fully prepared for his BTCC debut.
Tom Oliphant: “To join the British Touring Car Championship grid in the 60th anniversary season is a dream come true and it couldn’t have been possible without the continued support of my loyal sponsors. I’m incredibly pleased to be partnering with Philips automotive lighting and Horizon Specialities again, and welcoming on-board eJIGSAW and Marchand Watches.
“I feel our car is going to really stand out on track this season and I’m delighted by the reaction we got to the livery. With our positive pre-season behind us, our attention is now firmly on the opening rounds next weekend and I’m fully focused on starting strongly, scoring points and gaining valuable experience for the rest of the season.”
Richard Armstrong – Sales Director, Philips Automotive Lumileds UK: “We are delighted to be able to continue our association with Tom. He is a talented and intelligent driver and it should come as no surprise that we wanted to make the step up with Tom into the BTCC – so we can showcase ourselves in a top-of-the-line race series, echoing the Philips ethos of producing the highest quality automotive products. The fit is excellent.”
Richard Newman – Horizon Specialities: “We are very proud to be continuing our partnership with Tom for a third season. At Horizon we strive for success and believe we have the passion and drive to achieve it, and in Tom we see the same attributes as he enters his first BTCC season.”
Chris Percival – eJIGSAW CEO: “I have known Tom personally for many years and when he told me he was joining the BTCC grid in 2018, we felt it was a great opportunity to offer support. We can’t wait to see Tom and our eJIGSAW brand together on the grid, and hopefully the podium!”
There is now just one week to go until Oliphant gets on track for his Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship debut, with Rounds One, Two and Three taking place around the Brands Hatch Indy Circuit next weekend.
Saturday 7th April:
Free Practice One: 09:30 to 10:10
Free Practice Two: 12:05 to 12:45
Qualifying: 15:15 to 15:45
Sunday 8th April (Live on ITV4):
Race One: 11:35 – 24 laps
Race Two: 14:25 – 24 laps
Race Three: 17:15 – 24 laps
You can hear more of Oliphant’s thoughts on the season ahead courtesy of an interview with the BTCC’s official audio team Cre8media, which can be listened to here: http://www.btcc.net/live-audio/.
The images included are from Jakob Ebrey Photography.