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This former Renault Clio Cup champion and British Touring Car Championship race winner made the jump from tin tops to GT machinery full-time in 2014 after a couple of British GT Championship outings in 2013. Since then, he’s claimed victories and titles alike in the 24H SERIES, the International GT Open, and has even had a go at World RallyCross. Turns out he’s been compared to Ashton Kutcher in the past too…

“My name is Tom Onslow-Cole”
Age? You can lie about that if you want…
“I have to admit that I’m 31 years old, unfortunately. I might have to start lying about that soon!”
Where and when was your first ever car race, and how old were you?
“I was racing cars when I was 14 years old, and I did a series in the UK that was for Junior drivers, so you could race on a proper circuit in a 2-litre touring car. Me and my dad, we ran the car ourselves, and we did a season of that together. It was really great for learning all of the circuits and what it took to be a quick car racer at a very young age.”
What is the best moment of your racing career so far?
“This is tricky, because there’s been so many already! I would say that the most fun I’ve had racing in a GT car was probably at the Nürburgring when I did the 24 Hours [with Schubert Motorsport in 2017 in a BMW M6 GT3]. It was very nice to be there in an all-Pro line-up [alongside John Edwards and Jens Klingmann] and just concentrate on your own performance, and it was really exciting to be chasing a win through pure speed. It was really cool.”
Which is your favourite circuit and why?
“Favourite circuit is Bathurst. I don’t even have to think about that one. I got to drive there a couple of years ago, and it’s just a crazy thrill. They have the selection that goes over the mountain, and the climb up there and back down again is one of the most intense sections of track that I’ve ever come across. The walls are so close, and the GT3 cars are so quick, it really makes for an exciting ride. I would love to go back for the 12 Hours next year.”
Describe the strangest thing that’s ever happened to you at a motor race …
“I do have some stories, but I’m not sure I can tell them! [Pause] I guess…actually, everything has been pretty normal so far. I can’t think of anything that is that strange, I’m afraid.”
Describe your helmet design to us, and what it signifies…
“My helmet has the same basic design as it did when I was a child racing in go-karts. I think I started this design when I was 12 years old, and every year, I’ve changed one or two things, maybe the colour or the design slightly, so when you put this helmet side-by-side with the one I used 20 years ago – Jesus, I’m definitely going to lie about the age! – you can still see the original design that’s carried through.
“The designers have also got more technical, and there’s so much more detail. My original design is very plain and simple by comparison. Now it’s much more modern, but probably more expensive too.”
What is your greatest strength?
“As a driver, I think I’m a good team guy. A good team player. I motivate the guys around me. I’m very happy to share with my teammates and coach. If we have ‘AM’ drivers in the team, I have a very good reputation for developing their race craft quickly, and this is such an important part of endurance racing.”
If Hollywood made a movie about you, who would play you and why?
“When I was a little younger, and I had very long, straightened hair – very embarrassing, now I think about it – people used to say I looked like Ashton Kutcher. So maybe he could play me. He seems like a really nice guy.”
What would you like to achieve before retiring?
“There’s still so much to achieve in motorsport for me. I would love to race at Le Mans, and to win would be an incredible thing to add. But I also love the Nürburgring 24 Hours, the Spa 24, and [the Hankook 24H] Dubai, as well, is one of my favourite events. I came close to winning it a few years ago [in 2015 with RAM Racing], just one step away, so it would be nice to add these big races before I retire. Hopefully I still have a good 10 to 15 years to tick these off.”
Tell us a random fact about yourself that your fans might not know…
“During the winter, you’ll find me selling Christmas trees.* It’s a very random business, and something very separate from motorsport, but I like to keep busy and plan for my retirement. So we have a high-end online retail store that sells and delivers Christmas trees to your door to take the hassle out of getting one. When I put my hands in there, sometimes I find the odd pine needle still in there!”
*Since nobody at CREVENTIC was ready for that, Tom, we’ll let you off not answering the ‘strangest thing’ question…
Finally, what do you enjoy most about competing in the 24H SERIES?
“I think the atmosphere is really cool. I’ve been doing this series, off and on now for quite a long time. I think my first year was in 2014 at Dubai [with KPM Racing in the D1 class], so I know lots of the teams now, lots of the drivers, and it’s really nice to be here for the weekend and catch up with everybody. For sure we want to have competitive, fast racing, but I think we also want to have an enjoyable weekend in a beautiful location in the sunshine.”