Attleborough’s Ollie Jackson wins seat in AmD Tuning.com VW Golf for 2012 British Touring Car Championship
Norfolk-based Ollie Jackson will race the re-named AmD Tuning.com team's VW Golf in 2012's Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship,
Jackson impressed in his maiden two BTCC outings when he contested 2011's closing rounds at Brands Hatch and Silverstone in a Triple Eight Race Engineering-run Vauxhall Vectra.
And now following the announcement at the Autosport International show at Birmingham's NEC on Friday the 27-year-old – originally from Reigate, Surrey but who lives in Attleborough, Norfolk next to the Snetterton circuit – is preparing for his first full season in Britain's premier motor sporting arena.
His first big date will be the pre-season media day in front of hundreds of assembled journalists and photographers at Silverstone on 19 March, his second the opening round of the new 2012 BTCC season at Brands Hatch on Sunday 1 April.
Jackson commented: '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. 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.
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'Since I moved into car racing, I've never had a full testing programme before the season started, so it's 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.
'My initial aim is to see where I stand when we get to Brands Hatch and then make improvements and move forwards. However, the Golf 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. The team has welcomed me on board and I can't wait to get started.'
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Shaun Hollamby, boss of West Thurrock-based AmD, clearly believes that Jackson, a former front-runner and class champion in GT and sportscars, can help continue his squad's progress after the Golf achieved several outright points-scoring results last year. It will again race fitted with a Lehmann-tuned turbocharged VW engine built to the BTCC's Next Generation Touring Car regulations.
Hollamby said: 'We spoke to a number of drivers about 2012 and are delighted to have agreed a deal with Ollie, and have an agreement in place this early in the year. He'll get the chance to test the VW Golf in mid-February and that will be the first part of a full test programme ahead of the new season. That is an important part of our plans for 2012 as it will be the first time we have been able to carry out a full testing programme before the season starts.
'Ollie impressed me last year with his performances in the Triple Eight car when you consider that he hadn't raced a front-wheel drive machine before. I'm confident that he can help us take further steps forward and help us fight inside the top ten on a regular basis.
'We have made some tweaks to the Golf over the winter. We know we were down on power a little last year but I'm confident that the regulations will help with that this season and, with Ollie on board, I'm looking forward to a successful 2012.'