Onslow Cole experiences Spa Francorchamps

Friday, July 04, 2014

British professional racing driver Tom Onslow-Cole took part in the Official Blancpain Spa 24 Hours Test this week (2 July) in preparation for the Spa-Francorchamps round of the British GT Championship next weekend (12 July).

Although not currently due to take part in the 24-hour Blancpain endurance race at the end of this month (26/27 July), Onslow-Cole took the chance to test the Strata21 V12 Vantage GT3 on the 7km-long circuit in Belgium, ahead of the fifth round of the British GT Championship.

“Aston Martin Racing asked us if we wanted to join them at the Spa 24 Hours test and we jumped at the chance,” commented Milltek Sport-sponsored Onslow-Cole. “I’ve driven at Spa before, but only for a couple of laps and not in the Vantage GT3 so it was great to get some real testing in before we race there next weekend.”

Onslow-Cole’s British GT Championship team-mate, Paul White (GB) couldn’t attend the test session due to business commitments, leaving the Buckinghamshire-based 27-year old alone to work on the best set-up for the 6.0-litre V12 Aston Martin still in the Bilstein livery from its recent Nürburgring 24 Hour exploit.

“The car ran perfectly and it enabled us to really work on the best set up for the upcoming race weekend,” he added. “Spa is a fast and flowing circuit that requires a delicate balance in the set-up. Too much aero stalls you down the straights but not enough can see your cornering speeds drop.

“Spa is a fantastic circuit that I’ve often dreamed of racing at so I can’t wait for the weekend to begin.”

In addition to Spa-Francorchamps, Onslow-Cole has added several tracks to his completed circuits list already this year, and has finished on the podium at all five of his International races.

“I’ve been contesting the 24 Hour Series, the Spanish GT Championship and various VdeV rounds this year in a bid to extend the list of circuits in my repertoire. I took second in class at Dubai 24 Hours at the start of the year; second place overall at Mugello, Barcelona and Navarra; third place at Dijon; and I’ll be racing at Paul Ricard in a few months.

“I have 22 endurance and GT races in total this year, so my switch to the discipline really has been a baptism of fire.”

Onslow-Cole made the switch from the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) to GT racing at the start of 2014 following a crossover year in 2013. The driver, who is a face of the premium watch brand Casio Edifice, has been pleased with how he has adapted.

“I couldn’t have hoped for things to have gone much better,” he concludes. “The British GT Championship is very competitive this year, so to get on the podium in my third BGT race in the Aston Martin felt good – in fact, we’ve scored points in every race we have done in the car. I’ve been bitten by the GT bug and I’m looking forward to taking on more challenges.”

Aston Martin Racing

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