Airwaves Racing set for Silverstone showdown
Airwaves Racing are all set for the fight of their lives as they head to ‘the home of British Motorsport’ Silverstone for the season finale of the 2011 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship this coming weekend (October 15/16).
The big news in the BTCC paddock this week has been the announcement that the Airwaves Racing team is to be further enhanced for the final rounds of the 2011 season with the addition of Touring Car ace and twice crowned BTCC Champion James Thompson. Leeds-based Thompson will be piloting the third Airwaves Ford Focus alongside Mat Jackson and Liam Griffin as the Motorbase-run team look to finish the season on a high note and claim the Independent Team and Drivers’ titles for 2011.
Thompson has an outstanding BTCC pedigree winning the overall title in 2002 and 2004 and his highly anticipated return to the Championship after racing in the World Touring Car Championship has been well received by fans and drivers alike. Thompson, racing the number 6 Airwaves Focus, will be lending a supporting role to Mat Jackson’s bid for the Independents’ title as well as in the overall standings. Currently, Jackson is fourth overall, 36 points behind championship leader Matt Neal, with Airwaves Racing lying second in the Independents’ Team Trophy, 15 points off the lead.
Although written off by some, mathematically speaking, Airwaves driver Jackson is still in contention to win the overall title, albeit with an outside chance. However, as anyone who follows the BTCC knows, anything is possible over a race weekend and both he and the team will be chasing down all available points for the best possible finish to the year.
With its super-fast long straights Silverstone is a circuit, which on paper, should suit the Mountune-powered turbo-charged Airwaves Ford Focus ST well. Both the team and Jackson have a good history at the circuit with numerous visits to the winner’s podium over the years and with only 18kg of success ballast on board they’ll be looking to add more silverware to their collection this coming weekend.
Steeped in glorious history of Formula One, BTCC and many other Motorsport disciplines, Silverstone is set to deliver another season finale to remember this weekend as Round 10 of the BTCC featuring races 28, 29 and 30 take place on Sunday 16th October. Live coverage of Sunday’s events will be shown on ITV4, itv.com and also in HD from 11.30am – 6pm; with itv.com featuring live streaming online of Saturday’s qualifying session between 3.10 and 3.40pm.
Airwaves Racing Team Manager Oly Collins said:
“The turnaround and result at Brands was very welcome for the team, especially after the drama of Knockhill & Rockingham. It was nice for us all to be smiling after a race weekend for a change! Unfortunately I think it may be too late for the outright Championship, but until it’s mathematically impossible we will be trying everything to win it.
“We’ve got our eye on the Independents title now and with the effort that the whole of the Airwaves Racing team and supporters have put in this year it’s the very least they all deserve, but all we can do is go to Silverstone & try to win every race. With Thommo on board for the final races you can be sure that we won’t be going down without a fight; the rest is out of our hands and you never know what can happen in the BTCC. Let’s see how we get on!”
Airwaves Racing driver Mat Jackson said:
“I know that a lot of people have written off my chance of winning the outright title, and I except that it’s a tall order, but while it’s still mathematically viable, then as far as I’m concerned it’s all to play for. Silverstone will suit our car, it’s one of our stronger circuits on the BTCC calendar and I really like it there. The Focus should perform well on the straights and we’re hopeful of a strong finish to our season.
“It’s great to have Thommo on board this weekend to support us for the Championship challenge. You always need that rivalry within a team; it’s healthy to have someone there who’s challenging and pushing you all the time and I’m looking forward to seeing what he can bring to the team in terms of set up and drive.”
Airwaves Racing driver James Thompson said:
“We’ve had a great day testing at Brands, the car has run perfectly and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed getting back out on track. The Airwaves team have been a pleasure to work with; we’ve had a really productive day and made a few changes to the Focus - just to get me comfortable and set up for the weekend.
“This weekend will be my first competing in the Airwaves Focus and although it’s never easy to step straight into a new car, it’s still got four wheels and a steering wheel like the rest of them so I should hope that all my years’ racing will deliver a great result for the team at Silverstone.”
Airwaves Racing driver Liam Griffin said:
“I changed my driving style for the last round at Brands from earlier in the season and the result seemed to help me keep things smoother and therefore faster, so hopefully this will show further at Silverstone.
“It’s great to have a two-time champion in the team with us for the last few races; hopefully we can all learn something from James and he’ll pick up some points along the way. Personally I'm looking to finish my first season in the BTCC on a bit of a high and would like to have some top fifteen finishes and continue racing with the mid pack guys rather than those further back.”