At last the four-week break in the MSA Green Flag British Touring Car Championship is coming to an end and the action can start again. Next weekend sees the team load all it's equipment on board the race transporter and head south to the...
At last the four-week break in the MSA Green Flag British Touring Car Championship is coming to an end and the action can start again. Next weekend sees the team load all it's equipment on board the race transporter and head south to the Silverstone circuit in Northamptonshire.
Silverstone was little more than a disused wartime airfield when it was converted for racing use back in 1948, the perimeter roads forming the new track. However, since then, massive amounts of money have been poured into the facility and it is now one of the most modern circuits in the world and can genuinely lay claim to the title, 'home of British motor racing.'
When our drivers Jim Edwards Jnr and Peter Cate take to the home of the British Grand Prix they will be running over the tyre-marks of Michael Schumacher and Juan Pablo-Montoya, as the Grand Prix giants would have completed a three-day test prior to the arrival of the BTCC - a series crammed full of top quality drivers and not a team order in sight!
With the Queen's Jubilee celebrations taking place, England's first World Cup Group match against Sweden and, most importantly, a host of racing activity, this weekend really promises to live up to it's billing of 'Super Weekender.'
Team B&Q Jet York City Racing are looking forward to the weekend with their lead-driver, Jim Edwards Jnr, lying in third place in the driver's championship after a battling podium finish in the feature race at Thruxton. The team will be right behind him as he chases his first win of the season and the chance to propel himself to the top of the standings. With only a small 15-point gap to championship-leader James Kaye's Honda Civic, anything can happen.
Racing alongside Jim in the team's second car will be Peter Cate. Having been drafted into the team at the last minute at Thruxton, following John B&Q being told to stand down on medical grounds by doctors, he has been given an extended opportunity to represent the team after his an impressive debut drive.
"Peter did a fantastic job at Thruxton, as I expected he would. It is a shame that I had to make the decision to put Peter in the car as things were coming together nicely for me, but his performance impressed and I am delighted to have such an able stand-in," John commented.
"After racing last season in uncompetitive cars we were able to acquire a couple of much more competitive Honda Accords for the new season. After a tough debut meeting at Brands Hatch, we have been coming on leaps and bounds. With Jim's consistency and Peter's aggression many drivers are starting to look in their rear view mirrors and worry about what we are up to. At Silverstone we want to have them focusing on what's going on in front of them, wondering how the hell they can catch our guys. This is what I am aiming for, and I see no reason at all we cannot achieve this," explains team manager Stuart Isherwood.
The team again have been working hard to prepare the cars for the Silverstone races, and have taken advantage of the four-week lay-off to make a host of improvements on the cars. Peter Cate gives us some background on what has been going on behind the scenes since the last meeting, "My car had a couple of problems at Thruxton, despite the strong form we showed. The main issue was exit speed from slow corners, as well as a straight-line speed disadvantage compared to the Peugeots and the Civics, coupled with the fact that my car is quite a bit overweight. The team have worked hard to fit a new damper system to my car to bring it inline with the level of setup changes possible on Jim's car and they have also sorted out the wheel supply problem which we suffered from at Thruxton, so we now both have 'Big-Offset Wheels' which will aid us in the overall grip department."
With these changes and others made to the cars since the last meeting, we should see them being competitive again but this time much closer to the front, especially in qualifying, which is probably where we have lacked a little so far this season.
Silverstone International circuit has a strange mix of challenges with fast corners such as Copse and Bridge, where balance is everything, and slow speed sections like Abbey, Becketts and Brooklands, which rely heavily on traction. The circuit is very smooth and has low curbs to meet F1 standards, which will mean the drivers will be taking much more curb than seen so far this season.
With England's World Cup game on the Sunday, qualifying will be an interesting affair. "I have asked Stuart Isherwood (team manager) to install TV screens to our dashboards, so apologies in advance if we don't flash our lights to the B&Qsi because we will be watching Mr Beckham and Co!" smiles Peter Cate.
So after six races we have seen who the pacesetters are and who the title runners will be and we are delighted to see our drivers right in the middle of that. As you would expect the team are in buoyant mood and will again be trying their best to show up the more fancied teams.
If you are attending the meeting be sure to come and find us and say hello - the enthusiasm of the fans is amazing and is something that always spurs on the whole team - you will be made very welcome.
Saturday 1st June
09.00 Green Flag MSA British Touring Car Championship Free Practice 40 mins
09.55 The BRDC British GT Championship Free Practice 1hr
11.10 Green Flag MSA British Touring Car Championship Free Practice 40 mins
12.05 World Sports Car Invitation Trophy Free Practice 1hr
13.05 Lunch Break 1hr
14.05 National Formula Ford Qualifying 30 mins
14.50 Avon British F3 Championship (Championship Class) Qualifying 20 mins
15.25 Avon British F3 Championship (Scholarship Class) Qualifying 20 mins
16.00 Michelin Porsche Cup Qualifying 20 mins
16.35 Elf Clio RENAULTSport UK Cup Qualifying 30 mins
17.20 World Sports Car Invitation Trophy Qualifying 40 mins
Sunday 2nd June
11.00 Avon British F3 Championship (Championship Class) Qualifying 20 mins
11.35 Avon British F3 Championship (Scholarship Class) Qualifying 20 mins
12.10 Green Flag MSA British Touring Car Championship Qualifying 43 mins
13.10 National Formula Ford Race 12 laps
13.50 Elf Clio RENAULTSport UK Cup Race 12 laps
14.30 World Sports Car Invitation Trophy Sprint Race 20 mins
15.10 Michelin Porsche Cup Race 12 laps
15.55 Avon British F3 Championship Race 15 laps
16.40 Formula Renault UK Championship Qualifying 30 mins
17.25 The BRDC British GT Championship (GT) Qualifying 20 mins
18.00 The BRDC British GT Championship (GTO) Qualifying 20 mins
Monday 3rd June
09.25 National Formula Ford Race 16 laps
10.10 World Sports Car Invitation Trophy Endurance Race 40 mins
11.05 Pits Walkabout/Autograph Session 40 mins
12.10 Green Flag MSA British Touring Car Championship Sprint Race 15 laps
13.00 Formula Renault UK Championship Race 20 laps
13.50 The BRDC British GT Championship Race 1 hour
15.15 Avon British F3 Championship Race 20 laps
16.10 Green Flag MSA British Touring Car Championship Feature Race 25 laps
17.10 Elf Clio RENAULTSport UK Cup Race 15 laps
18.00 Michelin Porsche Cup Race 18 laps