Donington: Team preview

SUNSHINE.CO.UK SET FOR WELCOME DONINGTON RETURN Team with Tech-Speed Motorsport will make a welcome return to Donington Park this weekend for the penultimate round of the 2010 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship ...


Team with Tech-Speed Motorsport will make a welcome return to Donington Park this weekend for the penultimate round of the 2010 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship season.

The future of the East Midlands circuit was thrown into doubt by the aborted plans to secure the British Grand Prix, with lengthy repair work having been required to get the venue into a position where racing could resume.

With that work having been completed, Widnes-racer Paul O'Neill and Guernsey-based team-mate John George will be amongst the first drivers to race on a revised Donington Park layout after changes were made to the final chicane at Goddards -- which has been moved back along Starkey's Straight for safety reasons.

Paul heads to Donington on the back of another impressive weekend at Knockhill last time out, where he took his older BTC-spec Honda Integra to a fine fourth place finish in the final race on Scottish soil -- just weeks after taking his third podium finish of the season at Silverstone.

In what is likely to be the penultimate BTCC event for the Honda before the car is phased out at the end of the year, Paul makes the trip to Donington looking to maintain his championship position and also fight for what would be a hugely popular victory for one of the smaller teams on the grid.

"After the way we performed at Silverstone and Knockhill, I really want to continue our strong form when we get to Donington," he said. "I'm going to drive every lap as if it is my last and we know that the car is quick, so it will be interesting to see how we perform. Donington wasn't our best weekend last year, but it seems that circuits where things didn't go to plan last season have been the ones where we have gone well this year.

"I'm not going to be holding back at all and, as always, I will be racing to win. Tech-Speed has given me a phenomenal car all year and it will be a travesty if it doesn't get a win before the end of the year. The Integra has arguably been the best car of its era and I'd love to give it one last victory in the final rounds and reward a team that deserves it more than most."

Team-mate John was in impressive form once again at Knockhill after he bounced back well from a retirement in race one to fight with the likes of Alex MacDowall and Gordon Shedden for a points finish in the final race of the weekend.

Although he ultimately missed out on a deserved top ten finish, John heads to Donington Park in confident mood as he looks to convert his recent strong pace into more championship points.

"I went to Donington last week to have a look at the revised layout and I think the circuit is going to really suit the Honda," he said. "My confidence is on a high after the last two rounds, and this weekend I want to try and convert the pace I've shown into some points.

"The Integra has been a great car all season and we have shown that it can still be competitive against newer machinery. I'm keen to show there is life in the old dog yet this weekend!"

The team has spent the past two weeks getting the two Hondas ready for the Donington event after a bruising outing in Scotland, with Tech-Speed chief Marvin Humphries stating he was optimistic of a strong showing from both drivers again this weekend.

"It's great to be going back to Donington after all their troubles, because it is a venue that no-one would want to lose," he said. "Donington was a mixed bag last year but the car should be strong and we're quietly optimistic of a good weekend. We've done a lot of work on the cars since Knockhill to repair the damage we picked up there and now we hope to carry on the progress we've seen with both drivers.

"Paul has shown again and again that he can fight with the best and John just needs a little bit of luck to secure the points finish his recent performances have deserved." MD Chris Brown is also hopeful that the team will continue its recent strong form at Donington Park as it looks to strengthen its grip on third place in the Independents' team standings.

"We've had some really good results in the last two meetings and Paul and John have been doing a fantastic job to keep us right in the mix for a top three championship finish," he said. "Considering the fact that the Hondas are amongst the oldest cars on the grid, that is a brilliant achievement and there is no reason why we can't continue to punch above our weight at Donington.

"Paul just keeps producing the goods on track and John has to be one of the most improved drivers on the grid this season. We're looking forwards to seeing both fight inside the top ten this weekend."


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About this article
Series BTCC
Drivers Paul O'Neill , John George , Gordon Shedden , Chris Brown , Alex MacDowall