Tech-Speed Aims To Impress At Thruxton
Donington was a tough weekend, but it's forgotten now and I'm looking forward to Thruxton.
After a tough weekend at Donington Park a fortnight ago, the GoMobileUK.com with Tech-Speed team will hope to fight at the front of the field when the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship heads to Thruxton for the third round of the season this weekend (30 April-1 May).
Widnes-racer Paul O'Neill and Guernsey-based team-mate John George head into the weekend confident that the high-speed Hampshire circuit will be one that suits the GoMobileUK.com with Tech-Speed Chevrolet Cruzes, with the pair aiming to bring home a double points finish for the time this season.
Paul was one of the stars of the Thruxton meeting twelve months ago, as he took his ageing Honda Integra to a podium finish in the second race of the weekend. Now armed with the Chevrolet that carried Jason Plato to the 2010 championship crown, Paul heads into the weekend sitting eight in the championship standings -- and fifth amongst the Independents - having scored points in five of the six races run so far this year.
After a difficult weekend at Donington Park, where he was forced off track in the second race of the weekend and had to battle through the field in the final race as a result, Paul heads to Thruxton in optimistic mood as he chases his second podium finish of the 2011 campaign.
"Donington was a tough weekend, but it's forgotten now and I'm looking forward to Thruxton," he said. "Despite the change in boost, the turbo cars will still be quick over a single lap in qualifying and we have to aim to get into the top six on the grid and go from there.
"At the minimum, we have to target a podium finish on race day and a win could possibly be on the cards; Thruxton is our best chance yet.
"Thruxton is mainly one long corner so there is going to be a lot of pressure on the front left tyre and it could cause problems for the turbo cars when they are on the power. I'll be happy to pick them off and work my way to the front."
Thruxton is the closest thing to a home race for team-mate John, who also found himself in the wars at Donington Park after being involved in an incident off the start in race one. Despite that, he fought back to finish just outside the points in the remaining two races as he continues to acclimatise to the Chevrolet after competing in an Integra in recent seasons.
Having scored a ninth place finish at Thruxton last season, John heads into the weekend looking to break into the points for the first time in 2011 and is optimistic that he will be able to challenge for a place in the top ten.
"The turbo cars have been turned down a bit and Thruxton is a circuit that should suit our car," he said. "Donington was a difficult weekend for us, but I've always gone well at Thruxton and it's the closest thing I have to a home circuit, so I'm looking forward to it.
"The circuit may be high speed, but it's not a high torque track like Donington, which is where the turbo cars had a big advantage. We need to see what impact the turbo change has, but I'm confident we'll be stronger this weekend."
GoMobileUK.com with Tech-Speed head to Thruxton sitting seventh in the HiQ Teams' Championship and fourth in the Independents' Team Trophy and will seek to strengthen its position in both championships in rounds seven, eight and nine of the campaign.
I'm confident we'll be stronger this weekend.
"Paul and John have both gone well at Thruxton in the past and we're looking forward to the weekend," Tech-Speed chief Marvin Humphries said. "As ever, we go into the weekend aiming to do the best job possible and we are optimistic about our chances.
"We need to see what impact the change in boost has on the turbo cars but Thruxton is a circuit that should suit the Chevrolet. However, we have to wait and see what happens when we hit the track for first practice."
Qualifying from Thruxton will be available to view on ITV.com on Saturday, with the session due to run from 15:10-15:40. Sunday's three races, due to start at 11:30, 14:10 and 17:15 will then air live on ITV4, ITV4 HD and on ITV.com as part of an extensive broadcast airing from 11:00-18:00.