Tom Oliphant joined WSR and Team BMW in 2019 and capped off a fine sophomore season in the British Touring Car Championship with two podium finishes and second place in the Jack Sears Trophy, to show how far he’s come since his early days in the sport.
Born and raised a stone’s throw from Oulton Park circuit in Cheshire, Tom began racing go-karts aged 11 and won many championship titles – including seven in the same season during the peak of his successes – which made a move into car racing as inevitable as it was anticipated.
That debut came in single-seater racing in 2012 in Formula Renault, but it didn’t take him long to decide that GT competition was where he wanted to be.
A race-winner in the British GT Championship in his maiden season in 2014 was a precursor to a record-breaking campaign the following year in the BTCC-supporting Ginetta G55 Supercup.
Eight wins and an incredible 17-consecutive podium finishes meant he clinched the title with a round to spare and graduated to the Carrera Cup GB – in which he was a regular podium finisher including one at Le Mans – and the Porsche Cup Middle East, where he took the runner-up spot in the 2017/2018 championship.
His debut BTCC season in 2018 brought a maiden fastest lap at the end of the year, but his move to WSR-run Team BMW last year moved things up a gear.
Scoring his best-ever qualifying result with fifth at the first attempt, and his first series podium next time out at Donington Park, Tom was clearly set for an impressive year.
A pair of top-three finishes, plus 12 wins in the Jack Sears Trophy – which netted him the runner-up spot for the season in that category – were a strong return for a driver with no knowledge of rear-wheel-drive touring cars pre-season, and who had his preparations curtailed by the new BMW 330i M Sport only turning a wheel for the first time 10 days before the start of the season.
After ending the year with three fastest laps – more than any other driver achieved in the second half of the season – he heads into 2020 determined to take his first BTCC win and to help Team BMW add to their Drivers’ and Manufacturers’ crowns of last season.