Current Volkswagen Racing Cup championship leader Aaron Mason will make his British Touring Car Championship debut at Oulton Park this weekend, standing in for James Kaye at AmDTuning.com.
Mason, who has already claimed four victories in the first six races of the current VW Cup campaign driving a Volkswagen Scirocco R for AWM/Warranty Direct, will step up for his first BTCC start in this weekend’s fourth round of the championship to fill a last-minute void left by Kaye, who will not make the round in Cheshire due to business commitments.
The Doncaster driver now holds the most wins in VW Cup history, and the move to the BTCC Golf will further strengthen the team’s links with the one-make championship, Mason competing this weekend in the Jack Sears Trophy for S2000-spec car honours with the Thurrock-based squad.
“I’m really excited about the chance to get behind the wheel of a touring car this weekend,” said Mason. “I already have a relationship with AmDTuning.com from the VW Cup, and when the chance to race the Golf came along, I wasn’t going to turn it down. Getting to the BTCC is the kind of thing I could only dream of when I started racing five years ago, so I’m glad to have the opportunity to give it a go.
“I think I can be competitive despite it being my first time in the car, although I’m not going to go into the weekend expecting too much as I know it is a big step up. Ultimately, the first aim has to be to secure three finishes from the weekend, but if I could finish in the top three in the Jack Sears Trophy, then it would be fantastic.
“My main focus this season is to win the Volkswagen Racing Cup but it’ll be interesting to see how I get on this weekend, and who knows where it might lead for 2014.”
AmD team boss Shaun Hollamby was upbeat about the prospects of Mason heading up to his BTCC debut, and insisted that the 33-year-old could peform well despite his lack of time in the team’s Golf.
Hollamby said: “Unfortunately, James had a last minute business commitment he couldn’t reschedule which means that he isn’t able to race at Oulton Park, but at the same time, it’s fantastic that we’re able to give Aaron the opportunity to make his BTCC debut,” he said. “We know him well from the Volkswagen Racing Cup, where he has really shown himself to be one of the stand out drivers over the last few years. He was keen to see what touring cars was all about, so this is the ideal opportunity for him to get in the car and give it a go.
“The key thing for Aaron is to get three finishes and we don’t expect fireworks given it will be his first time in the car with no prior testing. I have no doubt that if he was in the car longer term, he would be a contender for the Jack Sears Trophy, but this weekend is all experience and if we are able to come away from the weekend with some silverware, then it will be a huge bonus.”