Tom Oliphant is ready to hit the ground running and battle for race wins from the off with Team BMW as the 2020 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship finally kicks into action next weekend at Donington Park (01/02 August).
Following a three month postponement of the season due to COVID-19, the green light has been given for motorsport to restart in the UK this month and Oliphant is ready to challenge for success in his second season with Team BMW and their potent BMW 330i M Sport machine.
While the restrictions in place due to COVID-19 meant he was unable to get any track time in his BMW through the break, the 29 year old racer was working hard from his home in Leamington Spa to ensure he’d be at his physical and mental best once the action resumed.
A welcome return to track action came earlier this month with an official two-day championship test at Snetterton. Completing a detailed programme with the West Surrey Racing team, Oliphant got some crucial running in both wet and dry conditions ahead of the new season.
A very busy few months await the 2020 BTCC grid, with the revised calendar seeing nine race weekends take place between the start of August and mid-November. Once again the series takes in the UK’s best tracks, including Oliphant’s home circuit of Oulton Park in Cheshire (22/23 August).
First up though is Donington Park and the British Racing Drivers’ Club member returns there with fond memories, having taken his maiden BTCC podium finish at the Leicestershire circuit last year in only his fourth race with Team BMW.
Tom Oliphant: “I couldn’t be more excited to get back racing again! It’s been a long wait due to COVID-19 and I know it’s been a stressful time in lockdown for a lot of the BTCC community, so I can’t wait to get out there alongside the rest of the grid and put on a show for all the fans again.
“With track time set to be limited before the season begins, the Snetterton test was really important for me to dust off the cobwebs, get behind the wheel again and work with the team on some crucial set-up and tyre work so we can hit the ground running at Donington Park.
“Donington is one of my favourite circuits in the country and the BMW was fantastic there last season, so I want to be challenging for silverware from the opening race of the season. With a year under my belt with Team BMW, I’m ready to fight for the top prizes!”
The British Touring Car Championship is the most popular series in the UK. Across the 2018 campaign, over 380,000 fans attended the ten race meetings, while the championship’s free-to-air television coverage on ITV reached a total UK audience of over 19 million.
The 2020 BTCC season will be contested over nine events. Starting with four meetings in August at Donington Park, Brands Hatch, Oulton Park and Knockhill, the series then moves on to Thruxton, Silverstone, Croft and Snetterton before the November season finale at Brands Hatch.
Image from Jakob Ebrey Photography.