New Malden race ace Tom Onslow-Cole has confirmed he is close to securing a new deal to compete in the British touring Car Championships this year.

The 24-year-old driver finished last season’s series in the Team Aon Ford Focus having started the campaign with AmD Milltek Racing.

Onslow-Cole, who picked up podium finishes at Silverstone and Brands Hatch in 2011, has been left out in the cold since his former employers announced they were making the switch for a tilt at the World Touring Car Championships.

The former Weybridge College student, who was the team’s third choice driver behind Tom Chilton and Andrew Neate last term, has struggled to raise the six-figure budget needed to secure a race seat this winter.

But he insisted this week that an announcement on his BTCC future was expected at the beginning of next week.

“I can’t say too much at this stage because we are really close to finally nailing down a deal,” he said.

“I am not part of Team Aon’s plans but I have always wanted to stay in the British Touring Cars for this year, if I can.

“We are still looking for little bits of budget here and there, but it looks like we are expecting to make an announcement next week.”

Onslow-Cole, who has seven BTCC race wins, collected 61 points in the drivers’ championship last season, taking his collection of career podium finishes to 26 in the process.

His last full campaign with one team – Team Aon – saw him finish fourth in the drivers’ title race in 2010, ahead of Chilton in fifth.

The new season starts a Brands Hatch on April 1.