New Malden’s Tom Onslow-Cole will not be a British Touring Car Championship also-ran with Team Hard this season, writes Stuart Amos.

The 25-year-old signed to drive a next generation touring car (NGTC) Volkswagen Passat with Tony Gilham’s team before Christmas – an outfit which enjoyed one top three finish last season.

Onslow-Cole, who has agreed a multi-year deal with his new team, finished sixth in last year’s drivers’ championship for Team eBay Motors with seven podiums.

Gilham’s Team Hard will race two Passats, two NCTG Vauxhall Insignia and a S2000 Honda Civic in the championship this term and Onslow-Cole is confident he can get his car at the front of the grid.

“The decision to move was not taken lightly. It’s a team that can challenge for the championship. This team’s future ambitions made it difficult to say no,” he said.