OC STARTS GT OPEN CAMPAIGN

Tom Onslow-Cole’s International GT Open Series campaign gets underway in Estoril this weekend and the Milltek Sport-supported racer believes he and Valentin Pierburg are looking strong for the season ahead in the SPS automotive performance Mercedes AMG GT3.

In the 2017 season, OC and Pierburg contested five of the rounds together and came away with four podiums including a win at Paul Ricard. As the season progressed the pair grew stronger and stronger and by the final round in Barcelona, they were on a real roll.

“We were gutted when the 2017 season ended because we were flying high by the final round” said OC, who is a Face of Casio Edifice. “Valentin improved so much last year that I can’t wait for us to get going again and continue the good work. We tested here in Estoril last week and are both feeling good going into the weekend and the season ahead.”

The Circuit do Estoril sits just 30 minutes from Lisbon in Portugal and its Atlantic coastal position makes it subject to dramatic weather changes.

“We’ve tested here in the wet and dry so I think we’re ready for whatever weather is thrown at us,” continued OC. “It’s a mega circuit that, if I’m honest, better suits some of the mid-engined cars but the Mercedes AMG GT3 is such a solid all-round machine that you can get good results anywhere - it’s a real race and championship winning package.”

After Estoril, the International GT Open Series heads to Europe’s top tracks; Paul Ricard, Spa-Francorchamps, Hungaroring, Silverstone, Monza and Barcelona.

This weekend’s action begins with two free practice sessions today (13 April). On both Saturday and Sunday there will be a qualifying session and a race, with each driver taking their turn to lead the sessions.

The live-stream, timings and weather forecast can be found here:
tomonslowcole.com/live

OC RETURNS TO GT OPEN WITH SIGHTS ON THE PRIZE

Tom Onslow-Cole (GB) will return to International GT Open with Valentin Pierburg (DE) and German preparation outfit SPS automotive performance this season, and the Milltek Sport-supported racer believes the team has a good chance of taking the Pro-Am title in the highly-competitive series.
 
The 2017 season went well for the SPS automotive performance pairing, which raced in the European-based series for the first time. They had a consistently strong showing, racking-up podiums at Silverstone and Monza, and taking a class win at Paul Ricard.
 
In the final round, at Barcelona, Valentin qualified in his highest position of the season to sit second among his peers, and OC was delighted to end the year on a high.
 
“If we can start 2018 where we left off in 2017, we’ll be flying!” commented the Rockstar Energy Drink Athlete. “Valentin really impressed me in Barcelona. We worked hard on his qualifying and he really put it all together – I’m feeling good about our chances this year.”
 
The season starts on 14th April at Estoril in Portugal before heading to Paul Ricard, Spa-Francorchamps, Hungaroring, Silverstone, Monza and Barcelona.
 
“It’s a mega series with some awesome tracks, great driver line-ups and really good atmosphere,” said OC, who is a face of motorsport-inspired watches by Casio Edifice. “I can’t wait to do it all again… after a year of development, I think we’re in a good place to challenge for the Pro-Am title!”

The GT Open events are live streamed on YouTube at www.youtube.com/gtopenseries and OC shares behind-the-scenes content and live updates with his 50,000 social media followers. Search for 'Tom Onslow-Cole' on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and join in the chat.

OC SAYS 'ADIOS' TO 2017 SEASON

Tom Onslow-Cole has taken a podium in the last three International GT Open weekends and he aims to make it four-in-a-row for himself and team-mate Valentin Pierburg (DE), who is in fourth place in the Pro-Am driver title-fight, as the pair head to Barcelona this weekend.
 
The 2017 season has been another busy one for the Rockstar Energy Drink Athlete, who has entered 20 race events across four championships, and it concludes at his favourite track, Circuit de Catalunya, for the final round of GT Open.
 
“Man, I love this track… I couldn’t have hoped to end the season anywhere else,” OC said. “We tested here a few weeks ago and the car felt great so I’ve been desperate to get back here ever since. Vally goes into the final round in fourth place in the Pro-Am title and I’ll do whatever it takes to help him get a top three finish. I’d be proud if he achieved that in his first championship campaign… the competition here is seriously tough for the AM drivers.”
 
OC and Pierburg will once again pilot the SPS Automotive Performance Mercedes AMG GT3 that has been named the ‘Jungle Car’ by fans thanks to its eye-catching IMG World of Adventures Dubai livery.
 
“We’ve not had an issue with the car all year, it’s just got better and better with every round,” added OC. “That is testimony not only to Mercedes AMG but also to the team at SPS Automotive Performance.”
 
Although it’s currently the final race in OC’s calendar, the Milltek Sport-supported racer hinted at another event to come this season but wasn’t ready to give too much away.
 
“I’ve just signed-up to do one more race this season but you’ll have to wait and see what it is…” he concluded with a smile.
 
As always, the GT Open format contains a qualifying session and race on both Saturday and Sunday. Saturday’s qualifying starts at 11.15 with the race at 16.00 and Sunday’s action takes place at 09.40 and 14.15.
 
Join OC’s 45,000+ followers to see behind-the-scenes updates on Instagram and Facebook, and live race updates on Twitter, using @tomonslowcole.

OC'S HAT-TRICK

Tom Onslow-Cole made it a hat-trick of consecutive International GT Open podium weekends on Saturday, as he and team-mate Valentin Pierburg (DE) took third place at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza with the SPS Automotive Performance Mercedes AMG GT3.

The Rockstar Energy Drink Athlete, who has taken a podium in all but one of his GT Open weekends this season, knew that the circuit was not very well suited to the nimble but heavily-restricted Mercedes, but this didn’t deter him – he set the fourth fastest lap time in qualifying one and set the pace for the competitors in the AMG-machines.

“The Mercedes is so quick in the corners that the championship limits its top speed in order to manage the balance of performance and this means that tracks like Monza, with lots of straights, don’t work well for us,” commented OC. “But there are other tracks in the series that suit it better so it all levels out across the seven rounds - all you can do it get the most out of what you have in front of you.”

After the red flag-marred qualifying session was over, OC set about in preparing for race one. In the SPS Automotive Performance state-of-the-art truck, he went through some on-board video and data with Valentin as they discussed their strategy for the 70-minute sprint.

“It’s important for me to get us to a podium position but not take any massive risks,” the Casio Edifice-wearing star said. “Vally is close to getting a top-three championship finish this season so we don’t want to drop any points through making mistakes. Vally is great at defending so, I knew if I could just hand the car over to him in a high points-scoring position, he could bring it home there."

As planned, OC got a great start to cleverly work past three cars but, unfortunately, he was squeezed wide at the first chicane and had to take the escape road to protect the car. He emerged one place down but then set about picking the cars off one-by-one. First passing the Lamborghini at the second chicane to take third in class and then the McLaren between the Lesmos, he handed over to Valentin in P2 and they finished in third place with another six points collected.

“Vally did a great job,” continued OC, who is sponsored by Milltek Sport. “He got passed by McLaren works driver Côme Ledogar… I think I’ll let him have that one!”

On Sunday morning, Valentin qualified and in the afternoon started the race. He did a solid job and handed over to OC in P9 in class. OC had a battle on his hands to climb to a podium position in his 35-minute stint but he pushed hard and began to make up positions. First he picked-off the race one-winning McLaren and then three identical Mercedes AMGs in a row, to cross the line in P5 - just 0.3 seconds behind the Ferrari 488 and with another three points in the bag towards Valentin’s championship bid.

“We’ve had a really good weekend on a track that we knew would be tricky with our BoP,” concluded OC. “It’s Vally’s second season of racing and his first full championship so to be battling for a top-three position is fantastic. We still have lots of work to do but we’ve come along way this year so far. I’m looking forward to the final round at Barcelona… it’s one of my favourite tracks and I think the Mercedes will be strong.”

The final round of International GT Open takes places on 28/29 October at Circuit de Catalunya near Barcelona.

OC'S MONZA MISSION

Rockstar Energy Drink Athlete Tom Onslow-Cole is jetting-off to Milan this weekend to take part in the penultimate round of International GT Open at the world-famous Autodromo Nazionale Monza and is looking to take another podium with SPS Automotive Performance and team-mate Valentin Pierburg (DE).

The pair celebrated a race victory at Paul Ricard and a second place finish at Silverstone and, after a successful test at the Monza-based circuit last week, OC is feeling confident for another great result in the Mercedes AMG GT3.

“In the last two rounds of GT Open I have qualified inside the top three overall and then handed over to Valentin in the lead of the Pro-Am class,” explained OC, who is the face of Edifice watches. “Valley has then done a fantastic job on both occasions to hold the podium position – often under the attack of professional drivers – and this has lead to some great results. The plan is to do this again at Monza, hopefully taking the class win once again.”

In the International GT Open series there is qualifying and a race on both Saturday and Sunday, with the professional driver and amateur driver both completing a qualifying session and race start.

“I’ve loved racing in GT Open this year and it’s been great to get some good results for SPS Automotive Performance,” added the Milltek Sport-supported racer. “The team has done a fantastic job and this has seen them grow to a two-car team for this weekend - I’m ready to bring them some more silverware!”

The Monza round begins with practice today (29 September). On Saturday, qualifying one takes place at 11.35 and race one starts at 16.14. Sunday kicks off with qualifying two at 10.15 and the race at 14.15.

Join OC’s 45,000+ followers to see behind-the-scenes updates on Instagram and Facebook and live race update of Twitter using @tomonslowcole.

OC SEEKS SUCCESS IN THE SILVERSTONE SUNSHINE

Tom Onslow-Cole will enjoy the comfort of his own bed this weekend as the Rockstar Energy Drink Athlete races at Silverstone International Circuit for the fifth round of GT Open and, with VIP guests, more than 20 GT3s and a sunny weather forecast, the weekend is off to a great start.
 
For the race weekend, which comprises a qualifying session and race on each day, the Buckinghamshire-based GT ace will rejoin SPS automotive performance in the Mercedes AMG GT3. He and team-mate Valentin Pierburg (DE) are hoping they get another race win together following success at Paul Ricard.
 
“It’s great to be back racing alongside Valentin,” he said. “Last time we raced together, we took a Pro-Am race win at Paul Ricard so we’re aiming for the same again. We tested at Barcelona last week and the car is feeling great, and Valentin and I have been on the sim this week so he can learn the Silverstone track.”
 
Silverstone International Circuit is not only the home track for OC but it’s also the home of the British Racing Drivers Club, which will play host to OC's VIP guests from Edifice this weekend. With top lifestyle and fashion media attending, OC will be hoping that the 24 GT3 cars can put on a show under the Silverstone sunshine.
 
“Although I woke up at home this morning it felt a bit like I was abroad as the sun was shining through the window,” he said. “Motorsport fans should definitely take advantage of the good weather and come down and watch us race. With qualifying and a race on both Saturday and Sunday, there’s plenty of action all weekend and there are some seriously good battles in these GT Open races.”
 
Qualifying one takes place on Saturday morning at 11.20, with the race at 15.15. On Sunday, qualifying starts at 09.40 and the race is at 13.15. Tickets are available on the gate from just £15 and children can enter for free. Those who can’t attend can join OC’s 40,000-strong social media following to see behind-the-scenes updates on Instagram and Facebook and join in the conversation on Twitter.

OC WINS AT PAUL RICARD

Tom Onslow-Cole leaves Paul Ricard with trophies in both hands after taking a win in the Pro-Am class and a third place overall in GT Open. With a pole position and fastest lap to his name too, the Milltek Sport-supported driver begins the ‘Road Le Mans’ feeling confident.
 
The weekend started well for OC when he qualified the #20 SPS automotive performance Mercedes AMG GT3 on the front row for race one. He handed over to team-mate Valentin Pierburg in P2 overall and in the lead of the class and, 25 minutes later, the pair took a Pro-Am class win and third place overall.
 
“Valentin did a mega job!” commented the Rockstar Energy Drink Athlete. “He’s very new to racing but approached this perfectly. He kept his head cool and did exactly what we asked of him. It was awesome to stand there on the podium next to him knowing that we both got the most out of the Mercedes AMG GT3 this weekend.”
 
For Sunday’s race, it was Valentin’s turn to qualify and he started the 60-minute race from P21 overall and P9 in class. Despite climbing as high as P18, after a ten-second success penalty was added in the pitstop, OC exited in their starting position and began his attack.
 
Wasting no time, OC began picking off the pack and, following an impressive charge, he had climbed ten places to P11 overall and P4 in class, setting the fastest lap of the race along the way.
 
“That was a lot of fun!” commented OC, who is proud to be a face of Edifice watches. “SPS automotive performance gave us a fantastic car and it felt so good carving through the pack. It’s a shame to miss out on the class podium but I have no complaints from this weekend - everyone in the team performed perfectly.”
 
OC now jumps on a flight back to the UK, picks up his car and drives to Le Mans where he takes on the Le Mans Cup ‘Road to Le Mans’ with RAM Racing and its #30 Mercedes AMG GT3.  
 
Fans and the media can follow OC on social media using @tomonslowcole.

LE CASTELLET TO LE MANS

Tom Onslow-Cole arrived in France today for the first of two endurance racing weekends on the country's highest-profile race tracks. This weekend the Milltek Sport-sponsored driver takes on GT Open at Le Castellet and next week is the jewel-in-the-crown of the Le Mans Cup at the world-famous Circuit de la Sarthe.
 
OC returns to the racetrack refreshed from his Nürburgring 24 Hours debut as a BMW factory driver two weeks ago and is ready to step back into his SPS automotive performance Mercedes AMG GT3.
 
"I'm very fortunate it's my job to drive the best GT3 machines on the market," said OC, who recently re-signed as a face of Casio Edifice. "Although the cars are quite different, it's very easy to jump between them, which is a mark of a great GT3 car."
 
OC races in GT Open with Valentin Pierburg (DE) who began GT3 racing 18 months ago. Together, the pair took a podium at Paul Ricard 24 Hours in 2016 so they are hoping to repeat this success as they head back to Le Castellet this weekend.
 
"I'm looking forward to getting back to GT Open with SPS automotive performance this weekend. I had to miss the last round because it clashed with my Nürburgring duties but now Valentin [Pierburg] and I are back together and ready to race."
 
Once over, OC will wave goodbye to SPS automotive performance and will rejoin RAM Racing at the Circuit de la Sarthe where the 24 Hours of Le Mans will take place.
 
In front of 250,000 spectators and millions of viewers worldwide, the team will race its Mercedes AMG GT3 in the Le Mans Cup 'Road to Le Mans'; two GT3 races with the second race taking place ahead of the start of the largest and most-famous endurance race in the world.
 
"It's great to return to Le Mans," OC continued. "Last time I raced here, I won, so I'm hoping we can do the same this weekend."
 
In 2015, RAM Racing and OC won the Aston Martin Racing Festival of Le Mans along with Paul White in his V12 Vantage GT3.
 
"It's a busy time for me but I'm not complaining!", OC concluded. "I have more than 20 GT races this season on the greatest tracks in the world and with the best cars, teams and team-mates. It's quite intense with back-to-back race weekends but, with my friends at Rockstar Energy Drink on speed-dial, I'm powering on!"
 
Fans wanting to watch the races can do so using the links below:
 
GT Open at Paul Ricard
Le Mans Cup 'Road to Le Mans'
 
They can also follow OC on social media using @tomonslowcole.

OC IMPRESSED WITH GT OPEN COMPETITION

Tom Onslow-Cole will make his GT Open debut this weekend as he and Valentin Pierburg (DE) head to the opening round of the 2017 season at Estoril in Portugal with SPS automotive performance and its #20 Mercedes AMG GT3.
 
GT Open is one of five championships that OC is taking part in this season and the Rockstar Energy Athlete is pumped to take on a new challenge as he goes head-to-head with 24 GT3 machines from 10 different sportscar manufacturers.
 
“It’s a busy season for me and I’m looking forward to getting each one of my campaigns started,” the Casio Edifice brand ambassador said. “GT Open has always had some fantastic racing but I think this season will be awesome – both Valentin and I are itching to get started.

"We make a great partnership and I think we’ll be quite strong here, as we are in 24H Series. It’s still very early in Valentin’s racing career but he has shown a lot of promise and is progressing well."
 
The GT Open series is now in its 12th season and is arguably stronger than ever, as it boasts not just a large grid but some of the biggest names in GT racing.
 
“There’s some stiff competition!” OC concluded before he jumped on the plane to Portugal. “We have some of the world’s top professionals such as McLaren factory drivers Rob Bell and Côme Ledogar; my BMW team-mate António Félix da Costa; and my good friend and former Bentley Boy Duncan Tappy. We’re going to have some mega on-track battles and I can’t wait to get started.”
 
There are two races in the GT Open format and the first takes place on Saturday at 15.15. The second race starts at 13.15 on Sunday and both will be livestreamed at www.youtube.com/GTOPENseries. 

The full entry list for GT Open at Estoril can be found
here.

OC TO CONTEST INTERNATIONAL GT OPEN

Just two days after BMW Motorsport announced Tom Onslow-Cole as a works team Nürburgring 24 Hours driver, the 29-year old GT star has been signed-up to contest the International GT Open championship in a Mercedes AMG GT3.

The deal, which is with well-known German track preparation team SPS automotive performance, will see OC race alongside amateur driver Valentin Pierburg (DE). The pair made their debut together last season, taking a podium in the 24 Hours of Paul Ricard, and then went on to contest Dubai 24 Hours, running as high as fourth overall until an issue with the car.

“I’m stoked to be back with SPS automotive performance,” the Milltek Sport-supported driver said. “24 hour racing is a real test of a team, and, so far, so good. I’m really looking forward to getting back into a two-driver sprint series, the team have great experience in this format and I think we’ve got a strong driver line-up too.

“I immediately clicked with Valentin and that’s important with a pairing. We are very honest with each other and both share a passion for success and an eye for the finer details. Although he has only done a handful of races, Valentine has great potential as an amateur driver and I think we have a good chance of fighting it out at the front of the GT Open championship.”

The International GT Open Championship is a seven-race series that takes in Europe’s highest profile tracks, many of which OC has taken race wins and podiums at.

“The calendar is fantastic,” commented the Rockstar Energy Drink Athlete. “It includes some of my favourite tracks, Barcelona, Paul Ricard and Spa-Francorchamps, as well as Silverstone, I’m so pleased to have a race in the UK. It’s a brilliant opportunity to entertain my personal partners, friends, family and supporters.”

The championship starts at Estoril on 30th April but the team will first head to Paul Ricard for some pre-season testing.