Oliphant returns to BTCC at Thruxton

Two-time British Touring Car Championship race winner Tom Oliphant will make an unexpected return to the series this weekend at Thruxton with Team HARD.

Tarporley-born Oliphant will pilot the Cupra Leon usually driven by Will Powell for three races around the fastest circuit in the UK.

He will be competing as team-mates with Bobby Thompson under the Autobrite Direct with JourneyHero banner.

Oliphant, 32, contested four seasons in the BTCC before taking a step back from full time racing at the end of 2021 to move to Australia with his fiancée Gen.

It will be his first-time racing a front-wheel drive touring car since 2018, following a successful spell in rear-wheel drive machinery with Team BMW.

Oliphant said: “This was certainly unexpected!

“I’m only back in the UK for a few weeks and I was planning to come down to Thruxton to meet friends and colleagues in the paddock again, so it’s lucky timing that I got the call from Tony [Gilham – team principal] asking if I wanted to step in.

“It was a pretty easy decision to say yes and come racing again!

“I love the British Touring Car Championship and after four great years in the series, it’s been tough watching on from the other side of the world.

“There’s no pressure on me this weekend, I’m here to get back in the swing of things, have some fun and maybe pick up some points along the way.”

The trip to Thruxton is the eighth of 10 rounds of the 2022 British Touring Car Championship.

The usual format remains, with two free practice sessions and qualifying on Saturday, before three races on Sunday, all broadcast live on ITV4 and the ITV Hub.

(Images courtesy of Tim Glover)

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