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Andy Wilmot gets Tom Onslow-Cole's Team Hard British Touring Car seat

Andy Wilmot

British Touring Car Championship squad Team Hard will replace Tom Onslow-Cole with Andy Wilmot for the Rockingham round later this month.

Onslow-Cole has decided not to complete the season with the team's Volkswagen Passat, which will now be driven by the experienced Wilmot.

Team boss Tony Gilham told AUTOSPORT he was pleased to be able to give Wilmot his BTCC debut: "Andy's driven a lot of our cars and he's done the VW Cup, Ford Fiestas, Britcar, Clios.

"His dream has always been touring cars. The seat has become available and we always want to give our opportunities to in-house drivers.

"At the moment it's a one-off deal, but it could be extended."

Gilham is trying to keep expectations for Rockingham in check.

"I think by the end of the weekend he'll be up to speed, but it's more about him learning about the car and the championship," he added.

Wilmot, 32, said: "I signed with Tony two years ago and it was always in the pipeline to progress from the VW Cup to the BTCC and I am just delighted to have been given this opportunity.

"It's great for my CV and hopefully something that will interest prospective sponsors as I'd love to be in the series full-time next year.

"I feel really privileged to be getting the chance in the best championship in the country and I also feel privileged to be one of the only drivers to have driven the VW Passat in the BTCC."

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