DOWNTON racing driver Ollie Pidgley achieved his long-held dream of competing in the British Touring Car Championship at Rockingham.

Having sealed an 11th-hour deal to join Britain’s biggest and best motor racing series just days before.

Pidgley, who has been competing in the MINI Challenge this year, started the week before Rockingham preparing for this weekend’s latest rounds of the MINI season at Brands Hatch.

But when the opportunity to graduate into the BTCC for the final four events of the year presented itself, there was no hesitation.

After signing a deal to join Trade Price Cars with Team Brisky Racing on Tuesday before hie BTTC debut Pidgley got his first mileage at the wheel of the squad’s Volkswagen CC during a ‘shakedown’ test and then headed into his eagerly awaited maiden race weekend.

Despite a luckless retirement on the opening lap of the first contest on Sunday morning.

Downton driver Pidgley went on to finish 25th in the second encounter and improved to 22nd in the final race to accrue vital experience.

Afterwards Pidgley said: "It was always going to be hard work and a challenge to come straight into touring cars without any real testing, and with maximum ballast as a new driver, but everything went better than I thought it could and I’m happy overall”, said the Old English Properties and MSP Capital-backed driver.

"In qualifying I was closer to the pole position time than I thought I would be, and then we moved forward in the races and made progress. I feel the racing in MINI this year prepared me well for this move to the BTCC, but it’s still a massive learning curve and there’s so much more to do. It’s amazing to be part of the BTCC and I have to say a massive thank you to all who have made it happen.”

After a whirlwind first week as a BTCC driver, Pidgley is now looking forward to his next outing at the Knockhill Circuit in Scotland over the weekend of August 25 and 26.