11th December 2020

BTCC race-winner replaces veteran Jeff Allam in key event role

Experienced racer James Cole has been named as the new Driving Standards Advisor ahead of the 2021 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship. 

Series organiser, TOCA, has been carefully assessing candidates following Jeff Allam’s decision to stand down from the role, and has appointed Cole as part of the three-strong panel that assesses on-track incidents in the BTCC.

Cole has contested nearly 150 races in Britain’s elite motorsport series – in both top-level front and rear wheel-drive machinery in the current NGTC era – scoring a pole position and race victory during his time behind the wheel.

The 32-year-old’s rapid racing ascent began in the Formula Ford GB Championship, making his debut in 2008 before going on to take the title in 2009 – ahead of future two-time IndyCar champion Joseph Newgarden. 

The line-up in that particular Formula Ford season also included a certain Dan Cammish, who won the scholarship class that year, whilst Rory Butcher made a guest appearance in the renowned single-seater series.

After graduating first to British Formula 3 and then to the FIA Formula 2 Championship, Liverpudlian Cole made the switch to tin-tops in 2013. His 144 BTCC races were contested in Vauxhall, Toyota, Ford and Subaru machinery, with his victory coming in the latter during the 2017 campaign.

Cole’s new position will commence at the opening round of the 2021 BTCC season at Brands Hatch on 3/4 April and he will be in attendance at every race weekend thereafter.

Alan Gow, BTCC Chief Executive, said: “James has the ideal background for this important role. He has raced in our championship over the course of six years in both front and rear wheel-drive current generation BTCC cars, is a race-winner and has been in the thick of the modern BTCC environment… so I’ve no doubt James will bring great equanimity to the role.”

James Cole, BTCC Driving Standards Advisor, said: “I am delighted to accept this wonderful opportunity and proud to be back in the BTCC paddock. I always loved my time in Britain’s best motorsport series and feel that I can bring a well-rounded experience to the role, particularly having driven modern-day machinery, as well as understanding the dynamics of a BTCC race weekend. I will have been on both sides of the fence, having had many of my incidents assessed in the past, so I am as much there to understand the drivers’ point of view, as I am to ensure that the rules and regulations of the series are upheld.” 

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