Redstone Racing has its sights firmly set on closing the gap on the Independents championship leaders as Round 8 of The Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) gets underway at Northampton’s Rockingham circuit this coming weekend 22/23rd September.
The Motorbase-run squad remains in a buoyant mood following a successful weekend of results at Knockhill back in August, where the team secured five top ten finishes and its highest placed qualifying position of the season.
Despite having only minimal testing and track time so far, the recently unveiled Mountune-powered NGTC Focus has continued to impress - showing significant pace and consistently challenging for top ten finishes.
Rockingham’s US-style Oval track is expected to suit the characteristics of the new NGTC model well and the Redstone Racing team are confident that Mat Jackson will be challenging for podiums in the #4 Focus this coming weekend.
Team-mate and BTCC rookie Aron Smith is also hopeful of a repeat performance following on from his most successful weekend of results at Knockhill.
The young Irishman has shown that he’s got to grips with his S2000 Focus and will be looking to capitalise on his recent successes and hunt down that elusive maiden BTCC podium.
Redstone Racing team-mate Liam Griffin will sit out this coming weekend’s action once more. However, the squad will be back up to full strength and fielding all three Ford Focus ST’s at Silverstone in a couple of weeks’ time as he makes his return to the championship.
Round 8 of the BTCC featuring races 22, 23 and 24 take place at Rockingham Circuit on Sunday 23rd September. Live coverage of Sunday’s events will be shown on ITV4, itv.com and also in HD from 11.00am – 6pm; with itv.com featuring live streaming online of Saturday’s qualifying session between 3.05 and 3.45pm.
Redstone Racing Team Manager Oly Collins said:
“I'm approaching Rockingham with an air of caution. With the NGTC car this is where we predicted would be our first realistic chance to challenge for podiums on out right pace and I still stand by that comment. We've had two race meetings under our belts and understand the car a lot better than we did at both Snetterton & Knockhill, so now is our time to deliver. We're still some way behind the two factory backed teams with experience of the car but that’s never stopped us before!
“Aron had a great weekend last time out, his best so far so I'm hoping we can continue like that and get that elusive podium, however I do fear there may be a parity issue at Rockingham with the nature of the circuit and the larger tyres & brakes of the NGTC cars compared with S2000 front wheel drive. It should be an interesting weekend.”
Redstone Racing Driver Mat Jackson said:
“I think Rockingham should prove to be a circuit where the NGTC car will come in to its own. With the long corners and abrasive surface, the 18” tyre should provide us with a more consistent car.
“Whilst we have enjoyed a great start to our NGTC programme we are still on a big learning curve with the chassis and the break has helped us to get our head around the data that we have gathered in the previous two rounds to understand further what makes the car tick! With new parts arriving daily we are hoping for further improvements on the car that will enable us to challenge for podium places from the off.”
Redstone Racing Driver Aron Smith said:
"After Knockhill I'd say I'm more fired up than ever, yes there was some drama but that's all part of it! All I want to do is show what we're really capable off and make the team proud; you wouldn't believe how much of a team effort it really is.
"Rockingham has been good to me in the past; in fact I won my first championship in the Renault Clio Cup winter series back in 2008 around there. What's good about Rockingham is that it's a good mix of corners; I know parts will definitely suit the S2000 focus so it will be all about capitalising there. Hopefully I can put on another good show!"
Source: Redstone Racing