SUNSHINE.CO.UK OPTIMISTIC ON SNETTERTON CHANCES Team sunshine.co.uk with Tech-Speed Motorsport heads to Snetterton this weekend in optimistic mood as the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship season resumes after its traditional summer ...
SUNSHINE.CO.UK OPTIMISTIC ON SNETTERTON CHANCES
Team sunshine.co.uk with Tech-Speed Motorsport heads to Snetterton this weekend in optimistic mood as the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship season resumes after its traditional summer break.
The team heads to Norfolk on the back of a strong start to the season, with Widnes-racer Paul O'Neill currently third in the Independents' championship and seventh overall, while the team sits third in the Independents' team standings and inside the top six overall.
Snetterton was the scene of the team's first podium finish last season, when Paul produced a fine drive to come through the field from eighth to third in the opening race of the weekend.
Paul heads to Norfolk this time around having already secured a number of podium finishes this season, and having set the third quickest time during testing at Snetterton last month, he heads into the weekend hoping to run at the front.
"There is no doubt that we go to Snetterton with a better car than we did last season," he said. "I've been working with my engineer to get the car better suited to my driving style in order to help us move forwards and we are reaping the rewards of the hard work the whole team has put in.
"We have to be confident going into the weekend and have got to be aiming for the podium in all three races. Hopefully we can play our cards right and take a victory, but I want to come away from the weekend knowing we have done our best. I want to try and reclaim the lead in the Independents' championship and get the car onto the podium, but that elusive top step is the ultimate goal."
Guernsey-based team-mate John George heads to Snetterton looking to join Paul in the points scoring positions after showing improved pace throughout the opening half of the season, even if luck hasn't always been on his side.
John showed his pace with a fighting drive through the field to twelfth place in the final race of the weekend at Croft prior to the summer break and was quicker in testing at Snetterton last month than he was last season.
With that in mind, John goes into the weekend seeking a second top ten finish of the year.
"I've had my fair share of bad luck during the first half of the season," he said. "Oulton Park in particular was disappointing as we showed we had the pace there to come away from the weekend with some points and it was down to bad luck that we didn't.
"However, that is behind us now and I'm really looking forward to Snetterton. Croft went well before the summer break started, as did the test we did at Snetterton last month before the rain arrived. We ran twelfth quickest on the day and I'm sure the car will be strong at the weekend. There is no reason why we can't work our way into the top ten in at least one race at the weekend and pick up some points."
The summer break has given the Tech-Speed team the opportunity to work on the BTC-spec Honda Integras ahead the second half of the season, with the results of that work being seen during last months test session.
Having found more pace from the Honda, Tech-Speed chief Marvin Humphries is optimistic that both Paul and John will enjoy a strong weekend at Snetterton.
"I think we stand a good chance," he said. "The test we did went well and we are looking forward to it, although we know it isn't going to be easy. Matt Neal and Gordon Shedden didn't do the test so we need to see how they go and there are a few things we want to try out in practice. However, we are optimistic about the weekend.
"The car was good at Snetterton last season and we found some more pace during the test. Paul set a good time and should be strong and John also did well. He was quicker than he was last season, so we need to try and build on that to get him the results he deserves from the weekend."
Sunshine.co.uk MD Chris Brown said he was hopeful that Paul and John will be able to build on the strong pace shown by the Honda during testing to fight for points during the weekend ahead.
"We were strong as Snetterton last season and testing went well," he said, "so I'm hoping we can stay out of trouble and battle towards the front of the field. There is no reason Paul shouldn't be able to fight for a podium finish and you never know, this might be the weekend where a victory is possible for us. John is also looking good ahead of the weekend and he deserves to score some points.
"We've got high hopes for both drivers and the forecast suggests it could be wet, which would be good for us as we know we have a strong car when it rains. We're heading to Snetterton in confident mood."