Arena International Motorsport, or ‘Team Aon’ as they are more commonly known these days, recently made the move from the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) to the World Touring Car Championship (WTCC), fielding Tom Chilton and James Nash. This year could be considered a transition year for the team as they follow the likes of Bamboo Engineering from one championship to the other, to take on big names such as Chevrolet.
Since their debut as Team Aon in the BTCC in 2009, the team have enjoyed many wins and a championship, running with popular drivers Chilton, Tom Onslow-Cole and Andy Neate, as well as Alan Morrison for four rounds in 2009. In 2010 Team Aon had a car which allowed Onslow-Cole to go into the last rounds of the championship with a shot of winning the overall title and it was Chilton who became Independent Champion. Particular mention should be given to their dominating performance at Silverstone that year when Onslow-Cole took pole position and three podiums, including a win in race three, while Chilton took wins in race one and two. In 2011 Chilton lined up alongside Neate, debuting the teams new ‘Global’ Ford Focus, with Onslow-Cole making a return to the team later in the season For 2012 they moved from the BTCC and into the WTCC, taking Chilton with them and 2011 Independent Champion Nash.
They have taken six points finishes so far in 2012 in the WTCC, with four rounds remaining before the season ends in Macau. While this may not be up to their usual standards, it is important to remember the team are still finding their feet after their switch, as well as having to get to grips with their car at new circuits. They have an experienced line-up in Chilton and Nash meaning that they can continue to learn and develop as the season progresses.
What the fans say
- Tom Chilton is a really charismatic person
- Took the brave step of running LPG cars in 2010
- Were strong and kept fighting despite others complaining they had an unfair advantage
- Great looking car
- “Admirable bravery” moving to the WTCC given the dominance of Chevrolet and the extra costs given today’s economy
- Tom Chilton is an ever-present with the team
- James Nash is an amazing driver!!
- They seem to be fan favourites in the paddock, and seem to be a team with a friendly atmosphere
- Shame to see them leave the British Touring Car Championship
- Got involved in a global car scheme when they ran the Global Ford Focus in 2011
- Gave Tom Onslow-Cole a drive when he did not have one in 2009
- Their colour scheme “looks cool”