Worcester Park racer Fuller lands BTCC deal
Back in the mix: Howard Fuller has earned a return to the British Touring Car Championship Picture: Keith Hubbleday
Worcester Park race ace Howard Fuller is set to team up with New Malden's Tom Onslow-Cole in the British Touring Car Championship in 2013 - and he cannot wait to get behind the wheel.
Team HARD owner Tony Gilham has confirmed the 20-year-old will return to his squad to drive one of his two new VW Passat CC NGTC machines in a yet-to-be-named team for at least a part-BTCC season.
Fuller, who made his BTCC debut last season for Gilham as reward for claiming a victory for the team in the VW Cup, will share driving reponsibilities with recently signed American racer Robb Holland, who is racing only selected events.
Fuller is currently working on raising the budget for a full season, having already impressed in two outings in the elderly Team HARD Honda Cicic at Rockingham and Silverstone last season.
Onslow-Cole, who penned a three-year deal with Gilham's set-up over Christmas, has targeted a flying start to the season and his new team mate hopes his experience rubs off on him.
“It has all come together nicely, and it’s great to know that I’ll be on the grid,” he said.
“It can be frustrating reading about everyone else’s plans while I’ve been busy trying to secure my own place. I’m just thankful to Tony for the opportunity and I can’t wait to work with him and the team again.
“To be bringing the VW Passat to the BTCC grid – along with Tom Onslow-Cole of course – is a great feeling.
"I am likely to be the youngest guy on the grid and the likes of Tom obviously have more experience than me, but I am confident in my own ability and I am looking forward to the challenge.”
Gilham, now one of the BTCC's major players, could yet race a third Passat in the series provided Fuller can find the monet to fund a whole season.
And the Kent-based team boss admitted he had great expecatations for his new man.
“Howard is a very good driver,” he added.
“He won for us in the VW Cup and the whole team loves him.
"We rewarded him with a BTCC drive at Rockingham last year and he did so well that we put him back in the car for Silverstone.
"I am sure he will do a great job for us.”