BLANCKLEY WANTS REWARDS FOR SIBSPORT'S PROGRESS
Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) driver Simon Blanckley is looking for a solid weekend to move up in the Independents Cup standings as the championship moves to the legendary Donington Park circuit near Derby on 15th of July, following some unfortunate results in the last few rounds.
The Durham driver has been picking up his pace throughout the season and he and his team sibsport are certain they would have scored several outright points finishes to increase their overall tally had it not been for some unfortunate events at Croft and last time out at Oulton Park.
Looking ahead to rounds 16, 17 and 18 of the 30 round season, Blanckley is positive about the Donington weekend. "As a team we are really upbeat because, despite the incidents we have had, we are contenders for points consistently based on lap times. The issues we have had have either been accidents or problems with the car that can be fixed quickly, so we have every reason to be positive."
Like many of the circuits this year, Blanckley's experience of Donington is limited having only raced there once a few years ago, which proved eventful. "I last raced at Donington in 2002, but I ended up with a smashed Peugeot and several broken ribs! I do think the track is a classic though and it has bucket loads of history, so I'm looking forward to it," he says.
Indeed, as was previously highly publicised before the BTCC meeting at Thruxton earlier this year, Blanckley has repeated his tactic of gaining some more experience of the track by lapping Donington in a hire car.
Donington has a reputation for producing close racing, which is normally the order of the day during the BTCC meetings held at the circuit - and Blanckley has shown so far this year that he is a fighter when it comes to battling with other drivers. "I had a really good, clean battle with Martyn Bell last time out (at Oulton Park) which we both enjoyed, so hopefully we can mix it up again cleanly with some other guys. After all, I am doing this because I love racing," Blanckley comments. "Obviously, some of the lads on the grid have been driving here for many years, but I've shown at most of the tracks this year that I can get into a groove quickly. Normally, we get progressively quicker on Saturday's, but race pace really seems to be my strong point this year. Now, we just need to convert that into points."
Over the last few years the Honda Integra that sibsport compete with has proven to be the car to beat at Donington, with Team Halfords taking versions of the car to four wins out of six races in 2005 and 2006. "The Integra seems to suit Donington, which can only be positive for myself and the two other teams using the car," says Blanckley.
With the start of summer having been largely a wash out, the long range weather forecast looks slightly more promising for the Donington weekend, but Blanckley isn't concerned what ever the weather. "Most of the races so far have been dry which has been good for development, but we do have a strong wet weather setup. So, either way, we are happy."