Airwaves BMW Aims to Kick-off Season in Style
Airwaves BMW will look to put a marker down when the 2009 HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship opens at Brands Hatch this weekend (Sunday April 5).
Having become consistent challengers at the front of the BTCC pack during the second half of the 2008 season, then under the Motorbase Performance banner, the Kent-based squad is seeking to be firmly in contention for podium positions from the word go this time round.
The team saw plenty of change during the close season, securing a new title sponsor and one of Britain's most highly-regarded young drivers in the shape of double Cupra Cup champion Jonny Adam.
However, a degree of continuity was also maintained with the retention of the experienced driver Rob Collard, the same BMW 320si cars that performed so well last season, and of course charismatic team boss David Bartrum remaining firmly at the helm.
It is hoped that this potent mix of elements will combine to produce performances that will mark the team out as a genuine contender for titles in the BTCC.
There is no better circuit for Airwaves BMW to launch its 2009 assault than at Brands Hatch, as the high-speed corners and steep hills of the 1.2-mile Brands Indy circuit hold few surprises for the team. In addition to being the Wrotham-based squad's local track it was the venue for the team's outstanding finish to the previous campaign - which saw it collect five trophies for two second places, one third place, an Independent win and Team of the Day.
This time however the Airwaves BMW squad will look to go one better and stand on the elusive highest step on the podium. Having demonstrated top-three pace at the official HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship test session at Brands Hatch last week, both Jonny Adam and Rob Collard will look to power the Dunlop-shod BMW 320si to the front of the order on race day.
Airwaves BMW Team Principal David Bartrum said:
"The whole Airwaves BMW team is really looking forward to the action starting. Our pre-season preparations have gone very well and we're much further ahead in terms of readiness than we were at the same point last year. That makes me confident we can start the new season strongly and show we've progressed to the next level in terms of our development as a team. Jonny, Rob and our engineers all did some excellent work in testing, and if we can translate that speed into good times in qualifying then we will have made a major step forward from last year. I'd be happy with a repeat of our last competitive outing at Brands and take a podium finish in every race, but if we could secure a win in front of the fans at our local track that would be a fantastic way to start the 2009 season."
Airwaves BMW Team driver Jonny Adam said:
"Brands Hatch is a circuit I really enjoy so I'm delighted I can start my first BTCC season there. I'm excited to be part of such a great team at Airwaves BMW, they've made me feel at home and I've settled in really quickly. Rob and I were both quick in testing and we got the mileage we wanted done, so we know where we are in terms of set-ups. I think our race pace will be good but we have to qualify well, that will be important because it's such a short, fast lap around the Brands Hatch Indy track. If we can do that then Rob and myself will hopefully be able to score some podiums and be in the hunt for a win."
Airwaves BMW Team driver Rob Collard said:
"I'm very much looking forward to getting back in the driving seat at Brands Hatch. I had a nice quiet break over the winter but the team have done a fantastic job working on the cars to make sure they will be very competitive. We have done a lot of testing over the past few weeks and showed just how quick we can be, so I think we can pick up where we left off at Brands last season and score podium finishes. I think we surprised a lot of people then, and we want to do that again by kicking our performance up another gear. The main objective though is to bring the cars home in good points-scoring positions so we can begin to build a solid title challenge."
-credit: airwaves bmw