Hartmann Honda Racing ready to defend European Cup lead
In the last weekend of July Hartmann Honda Racing travels to Austria, where the team with its British driver James Thompson will defend their series lead in the official FIA European Touring Car Cup.
"I will be utterly disappointed if we don't perform and defend our championship lead," team owner Hans Hartmann says. "We got a really good start to the season in the opening round in Portugal, where we won one race and finish third in the second, and that success we will try to build on."
The coming round of the FIA European Touring Car Cup takes place at Salzburgring near the city that has given its name to the circuit, and it is a track where Hartmann Honda Racing previously has raced.
"Last time we were at the circuit the Hondas were the fastest cars, and that was even with an engine that was far from perfect, so I have a feeling that we will manage to do well this time," Hans Hartmann says. "The car that James is to drive has just got a fresh engine from Neil Brown in England, and we have also chosen to build on our experiences from our first race at the circuit. There is a section of the circuit where the road climbs for a mile or so and where you reach top speed at the end. This time we have chosen gear ratios that will make the car do 5 mph more at the top."
It is not only the race weekend at Salzburgring that Hartmann Honda Racing has been planning for. The outfit's two Hondas have virtually been rebuilt.
"We have been working on the car since the race at Padborg Park, so the cars have never been in a better condition," Hans Hartmann explains. For the time being he only has one driver for the two cars.
"A number of potential drivers have made enquiries about driving the second car, but right now we don't have anything finalized except that we want to defend James's lead in the European Cup. James does also have something that he wants to show, and I think that we will be successful."