Shaun Hollamby is looking forward to his return to the British Touring Car Championship in a driving capacity this weekend at Croft, and is looking forward to building on the impressive start made by the AmD Milltek Racing team.
Tom Onslow–Cole guided the improving VW Golf to three points finishes in the first four events but parted company with the team during the last round at Oulton Park, opting to rejoin Team Aon. With only two weeks in between race meetings, the team made the decision that the team principal should fill in for Onslow-Cole this weekend, giving the team the chance to use the seven-week summer to find a long-term replacement.
Hollamby returns to on-track BTCC action after leading AmD Milltek in their debut campaign in 2010, and is looking forward to his return this weekend.
“I'm quite excited about the prospect of getting back behind the wheel this weekend,” he said. “We've had a lot of interest in the drive since the announcement at Oulton Park, but it is important that we make the right decision when it comes to finding a new driver and I was the best option to step in this weekend.”
“The target for Croft is to beat our average qualifying and finishing positions so far this season and to bring home points in all three races. The car is more reliable and more competitive than it was last year and the opportunity to get back on track is an unexpected one that I have to take with both hands. Hopefully I can add my name to the list of drivers in contention to race the Golf for the rest of the season!”
Hollamby had the chance to test the Golf in the fortnight since Oulton Park, his first experience of the car in its' current NGTC spec after it ran to S2000 regulations last year. Hollamby said that he immediately noticed an improvement from his experiences last year, and is looking forward to seeing how it goes in North Yorkshire.
“The test went well and there were a few things we were able to improve,” he said. “Compared to when I drove the Golf last year in its previous specification, the car has a lot more torque and more straight line-speed thanks to the turbo engine. The brakes are also a lot better, although braking is a bit more tricky as you don't have the engine braking with the turbo that you have with the normally aspirated engine we ran last year.”
“You really have to feed the power in to get the best out of the engine but with those improvements, and steering which is much sharper and more consistent than last year, the Golf feels much more like a race car than it did last season. All round, it is a much better package and I'm looking forward to racing it.”
With Hollamby's attention focused on driving this weekend, the role of team of team manager will now be filled by Rhea Beauchamp, and Hollamby is confident she will do a good job at Croft.
“The boys in the team all said that I shouldn't try and manage the team and drive this weekend,” Shaun added, “and Rhea is the ideal person to step in for the weekend to help out.
“I've known her for a few years from her time in the MINI Challenge and then in the BTCC last season, and she is a very straightforward and organised person who I know will keep everything in order while I focus in getting the best results possible on track.”