Former British Touring Car race-winner and current GT racer Tom Onslow-Cole has beaten eleven other MSA members to win the inaugural RX Talent Search contest, and with it a fully paid entry to the RX Lites round at World RX of Turkey later this year.
The finalists competed in a one-day evaluation test at Lydden Hill in Kent, with on track action in the 310bhp, mid-engined RX Lites car mixed with interviews with a judging panel featuring MSA Performance Director Robert Reid and World RX Managing Director Martin Anayi.
The twelve finalists were whittled down to a final four, which were then subjected to a final interview with the panel before Onslow-Cole was picked the winner ahead of single-seater star Sennan Fielding, British Rallycross Super-National class winner Dan Rooke and European Rally ace Chris Ingram.
“I am over the moon. It’s been a brilliant day, the experience alone at this event has been fantastic but to know that I’m actually also going to race in Turkey is so cool,” said Onslow-Cole.
“I didn’t have a huge amount of expectation of the car today, I hadn’t driven anything like it so in that sense it was completely new. On asphalt, it is incredibly good and on the gravel it is definitely a lot better than I am! I want to give this opportunity my all and put on a great show.”
Amongst the other competitors in the strong field was current Porsche Carrera Cup GB championship leader Dan Cammish, former BTCC podium finisher Jack Clarke, reigning Scottish Rally champion Euan Thorburn and current Renault UK Clio Cup racer Freddie Hunt.
It was Ingram who set the fastest lap time of the day on track, his effort of 48.107s being two hundredths of a second quicker than Rooke, with Onslow-Cole setting the third quickest lap of 48.4s.
Onslow-Cole will join the RX Lites field as they tackle former Formula 1 venue Istanbul Park for the penultimate meeting of the season on October 2-4.
“It was incredibly difficult to pick from the final four, they were all very quick on pace so ultimately it came down to their performance in the interviews and what we felt they could individually bring to our Championship,” commented Anayi.
“Overall, I think the best man on the day won: Tom will do a very good job of promoting our sport but, most importantly, will have a very strong chance of winning RX Lites.”
The judging panel was completed by Andreas Eriksson, Team Principal of World RX team Olsbergs MSE, Deputy Editor of Motorsport News Matt James, and World RX podium finisher Andrew Jordan.