Donington Park National Circuit hosts the ninth and 10th rounds of the 2006 Blaupunkt SEAT Cupra Championship in just over a week's time, 29th/30th July, and Irishman Jonathan Fildes is confident the event will prove to be the turning point of his...
Donington Park National Circuit hosts the ninth and 10th rounds of the 2006 Blaupunkt SEAT Cupra Championship in just over a week's time, 29th/30th July, and Irishman Jonathan Fildes is confident the event will prove to be the turning point of his season.
The Asgard Taverns, Applied Signs & Display, Atari Expo and AM Speedsport-backed driver endured a trying outing at Croft in North Yorkshire last weekend but regardless of the many problems which beset Jonathan and his Total Control Racing prepared SEAT, he heads to Donington sixth in the championship and still very much in the title chase.
Having been on the podium twice already during his maiden season of SEAT action, the 31-year-old from Co.Meath is identifying Donington Park as the circuit where he aims to really kick-start his season and sees no reason why he shouldn't be challenging for the podium in both races at the famous Leicestershire venue.
"I love it at Donington", said Jonathan looking ahead to rounds nine and 10, "It's the sort of circuit where you have to make sure you get every corner right in order to produce a fast lap. Each corner feeds the next and you have to hook everything together in order to set a good lap time.
"Donington isn't the kind of place where you can make a mistake and then manage to make the time back up in the remainder of the lap by pushing like crazy. It's a track which definitely separates the men from the boys."
Although wanting nothing less than to secure his first ever SEAT Cupra Championship race win next weekend, Jonathan knows the importance of consistent points-scoring having won the 2003 Renault Clio Cup title taking just four victories en route. The most significant point, however, is that he finished every race in a Clioinside the top 10.
"Even though we had problems, the main thing at Croft was that we scored points and points mean prizes. When I raced in the Clio Cup I only won four races but went on to win the championship which shows the aim always has to be to finish consistently well", added the TCR ace.
"Croft wasn't the weekend we had hoped for. First we had the intercooler problem and then after the second race we found out the engine was damaged and down on power which obviously explains the lack of pace we had. I knew there was something wrong after qualifying but we couldn't find out exactly what it was soon enough unfortunately.
"Something which did become clear to me at Croft is that I need to try and change my style to get the most from my SEAT, rather than changing the car itself. TCR always prepares a first class car and with a couple of slight changes to my driving style I'm sure we'll be very competitive at Donington."
Jonathan's first on-track activity at Donington will come a week tomorrow, Friday, 28th July, during a pair of 55-minute test sessions. Round nine qualifying will follow at 11.10 on Saturday, 29th July, with the round 10 session expected to get underway at 14.40.
Both races will then take place on Sunday, 30th July, and will be broadcast live on Motors TV. Round nine is scheduled to get underway at 10.30 with round 10 set to begin at approximately 16.30. Motors TV is available at channel 413 of the Sky Digital platform and via channel 173 through cable provider NTL.