Tom Oliphant

Tarporley’s Tom Oliphant is to race in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship this season.

Oliphant has signed a deal to compete in the biggest race series in the UK with Ciceley Motorsport.

The 27-year-old now aims to make a strong impression and challenge for front-running results in the championship’s 60th anniversary season.

Oliphant makes the step up to the BTCC in a Mercedes-Benz A-Class, a car which has six race wins and 21 podium finishes in the last four seasons.

He will get his first taste of the Ciceley Mercedes in late February, which will start an extensive pre-season testing programme ahead of the season opener at Brands Hatch on April 7-8.

Sponsors and new livery will be unveiled during the championship’s official pre-season launch day at Donington Park on March 27.

Oliphant said: “The BTCC is the biggest championship in the UK and it’s a fantastic opportunity for me and my partners.

“I’m under no illusions as to the challenge facing me this season.

“It’s my first season in touring cars and I’ll be coming up against a hugely competitive grid filled with talented drivers, but we’re up for the challenge and I’m looking forward to getting stuck in.

“I’m really happy to be working with Ciceley Motorsport.

Oliphant racing driver

“They are a proven front-running squad in the championship and the Mercedes is an established race-winning car, which combined is a perfect platform for me to be competitive in the series from the off.

“We’re currently finalising deals with sponsors moving forward and look forward to announcing our partners in March, while we’re are always looking to get new companies on-board as we enter the highest-profile series in the UK.”

This season, Oliphant will be eligible to compete in the Independents Drivers’ Championship and the Jack Sears Trophy – a class open to all drivers who start the season without an overall podium in the series.

Russell Morgan, Ciceley Motorsport Team Principal, said: “These are exciting times for Ciceley Motorsport with Tom joining Adam Morgan.

“We have two gifted young drivers peddling our Mercedes-Benz A Class in the BTCC this year.

“As soon as I heard Tom was available we moved mountains in our quest to sign him.

“He is exactly the type of driver I want in my squad: professional in and out of the car and blisteringly fast.

“I expect him to do well in both the Independents and the Jack Sears Trophy.

“Although Tom has no front-wheel drive experience, our cars are very well balanced and we have a comprehensive pre-season test schedule arranged.

“I am confident Tom will soon get to grips with the car and be on the pace straight away.”

Oliphant has four seasons racing on the championship’s support package, with a two-year spell in the Ginetta GT4 Supercup culminating in title success in 2015.

He had six rostrum finishes in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB, and made selected outings in the Formula One-supporting Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup.

He is currently the championship leader in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East.

2018 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship Calendar:

Season Launch Donington Park, Leicestershire 27 March
Rounds 1-3 Brands Hatch Indy, Kent 7/8 April
Rounds 4-6 Donington Park, Leicestershire 28/29 April
Rounds 7-9 Thruxton, Hampshire 19/20 May
Rounds 10-12 Oulton Park, Cheshire 9/10 June
Rounds 13-15 Croft, Yorkshire 23/24 June
Round 16-18 Snetterton, Norfolk 28/29 July
Rounds 19-21 Rockingham, Northants 11/12 August
Rounds 22-24 Knockhill, Fife 25/26 August
Rounds 25-27 Silverstone, Northants 15/16 September
Rounds 28-30 Brands Hatch GP, Kent 29/30 September

(Pics of Oliphant courtesy o Dan Bathie/Porsche, pic of Ciceley Motorsport Mercedes from Jakob Ebrey Photography)

pic of Ciceley Motorsport Mercedes from Jakob Ebrey Photography

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