Aiming for a win
Croft Circuit near Darlington this coming weekend is the final venue for the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championshiop (BTCC) before the series takes a seven week break. Triple Eight with Collins Contractors’ James Nash currently lies 4th in the overall driver standings just eight points behind leader Matt Neal while Nash’s team-mate Tony Gilham shares top rookie status in 12th place with Eurotech Racing’s Jeff Smith. Nash and the team also currently lead the Independent driver and Independent team awards respectively.
Nash though has yet to win in the BTCC and where better to break that duck than Croft? The North Yorkshire circuit has generally been a good one for the team with victory taken in one of the days three races for three of the last four years. Additionally, no manufacturer has scored more BTCC wins at Croft than the Triple Eight run Vauxhalls.
For many, Milton Keynes’ Nash has been the surprise of the season so far and it is surely an indication of just how far the 25 year-old driver has come in 2011 that last time out at Oulton Park he felt deflated after recording only his first non-points result of the year so far in the third and final race. Earlier in the day he had scored Independent wins in both races one and two including a BTCC career equalling best of 2nd place in race two just behind 2010 Champion Jason Plato.
Porsche Carrera Cup graduate Tony Gilham meanwhile will be looking to erase the memory of a challenging meeting last time out that included a spin to the back of the field in race one, a crash in race two and a charge from the back of the grid in race three that narrowly failed to earn the Championship points it deserved. The Dartford-born driver has previously scored top ten finishes in all of his nine Porsche races at Croft and will be looking to continue the run this weekend.
James Nash ♯14:“There is usually a good crowd at Croft and I’d love to give them something to cheer about. Hopefully, the team and I can find a bit more performance, but irrespective we’ve just got to keep pushing. I am though feeling confident and very much looking forward to the weekend.”
Tony Gilham ♯34: I always look forward to racing anywhere to be honest, so in a sense Croft is just another track. Having said that I’ve done reasonably well there in the past and hopefully will do so again this weekend. We need to have a good practice and qualifying to build from, but yeah, looking forward to racing at Croft.”
Ian Harrison, Chairman Triple Eight: “Croft is quite a technical circuit and one where we’ve proved that we’re not too bad. We’ve got a good car this season but we’ve got to get a bit more out of it somehow and we have got to keep finishing. That’s the key to the whole thing. So far we haven’t won a race this year and yet we’re still right there at the front end of the Championship, which goes to show what a good job the team and James especially is doing. From here on in keeping everything tidy will be vital.”
-source: triple eight race engineering