After racing in the final two rounds of the 2011 season Ollie Jackson is to return to the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) in 2012 as driver for the Amd Tuning.com team.
The Essex based team will return with their S2000-spec VW Golf for a third season under the stewardship of Shaun Hollamby, using the same Lehmann developed NGTC engine that the squad debuted last season and a car Hollamby describes as “99%” the same as their 2011 car.
27-year-old Jackson stepped into the BTCC at the end of the 2011 season in a second Triple Eight run Vauxhall Vectra, having competed in the Avon Tyres British GT Championship from the start of the year, driving a GT4 Lotus Evora with Phil Glew, the pair taking class victory at Spa-Francorchamps.
Previously Jackson has enjoyed success in Caterham racing and lifted the Pro-Am1 class title in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB in 2010.
“After the two rounds last season in the Vectra, I knew the BTCC was where I wanted to be full-time in 2012 and I'm delighted that I've been able to agree a deal with AmD Tuning.com,” said Jackson. “I'm really pleased to have a deal confirmed nice and early, which will give me time to carry out some decent testing before the opening rounds.”
“My initial aim is to see where I stand when we get to Brands Hatch and then make improvements and move forward. However, the Gold is a proven car that showed good pace in 2011 and my target is to bring home top ten finishes as the year goes on.”
“I and probably quite a few people weren't looking for Ollie to do a particularly great job when he came in,” Hollamby admitted, speaking to The Checkered Flag at Autosport International. “I didn't know too much about him when he came in raced for Triple Eight at the end of last but I've got to say he did a fantastic job. He was unlucky not to score points in the six races he did but actually by the end of his run he was only a tenth or two off of James Nash, so we were very, very impressed.”
“I expect him to takes a few scalps this year.”
The team have as many as five test sessions planned before the championship starts at Brands Hatch on March 31. The chance to test extensively pre-season, both Hollamby and Jackson say will be new to both of them.
“Since I moved into car racing,” Jackson says. “I've never had a full testing programme before the season started, so its good that I'll be able to spend some meaningful time behind the wheel of the Golf, especially as I don't have much experience of front-wheel drive.”