Tech-Speed Readies For Donington Challenge
The GoMobileUK.com with Tech-Speed team will aim to build on the podium finish it enjoyed at Brands Hatch as the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship heads to Donington Park this weekend for the second round of the season (16/17 April).
In its first weekend running a new Chevrolet Cruze, the team clinched a third place finish in the final race of the season opener at Brands Hatch thanks to Widnes-racer Paul O’Neill, while Guernsey-based team-mate John George acclimatised to his new surroundings well during the weekend, with his progress shown by the fact that his fastest lap of the weekend came in the final race.
Paul, who’s programme with the GoMobileUK.com with Tech-Speed team was aided by fellow sponsor sunshine.co.uk purchasing the car he will race this season, goes into the weekend sitting sixth in the championship standings and third amongst the Independents’ after his solid start to the year at Brands Hatch.
While he admits that it will be a challenge against the various cars on the grid running a turbo engine - as opposed to the naturally aspirated two-litre unit fitted to his Chevrolet - Paul makes the trip to Donington Park looking maintain the form he showed at Brands Hatch and fight towards the front of the field.
“I think it’s going to be difficult against the turbo cars at Donington, but we just need to keep our heads down and focus on our own programme,” he said. “Qualifying is going to be tough, but the aim is to be as high up on the grid as possible and try to make sure we are the top Chevrolet. The turbo cars are going to be quick over a single lap but we want to be in the best position we can be for race day.
“The aim this season is to try and score 20+ points on each weekend and we did that at Brands Hatch. However, there is still pace to find in the car and we need to get the Chevrolet more suited to my style. We learned a lot at Brands Hatch and have shown what we can do, and we need to take what we learned and continue to make progress at Donington. It’s certainly not easy, but then again it isn’t meant to be.”
Team-mate John achieved his aim of three finishes in the season opener, with his focus on the first weekend of the season being on making the most of the track time available to get used to his new car.
Having got quicker and quicker as the weekend went on, he now heads into the second round of the year looking to break into the top ten and score his first championship points of the season.
“I’m really looking forward to the weekend,” he said. “I think Donington Park will be a good circuit for the Chevrolet, although it is also a circuit that will suit the turbo cars so we need to see how it goes. With a race meeting under my belt, I feel more at home in the Chevrolet and having improved my pace throughout the weekend at Brands Hatch, I’m keen to try and fight further up the order.
“Donington hasn’t always been my best circuit but, even though I may need some attrition elsewhere, I’d like to think that I can get into the top ten this weekend and score some points.”
With one podium finish already secured, GoMobileUK.com with Tech-Speed heads to Donington Park – which is something of a home race for both title sponsor Go Mobile and the Tech-Speed team – sitting fifth in the HiQ Teams’ Championship and third in the Independents’ Team standings.
With more still to come from the Chevrolet package as the team continues to work with its new machine, Tech-Speed boss Marvin Humphries admits that the aim for the weekend is to build on the early progress seen at Brands Hatch earlier this month and add more points to its championship total.
“We go into the weekend on the back of a positive start to the season at Brands Hatch, and both drivers made progress in the first three races which is what we wanted to see,” he said. “Hopefully we can continue to make that progress this weekend.
“Donington Park is a circuit where it may be difficult against the turbo cars but we need to see how it pans out when we get on track and just focus on our own programme without worrying about what other people are doing. That’s what we did at Brands Hatch and we were pleased with the outcome, and we’ll work towards a similar outcome this weekend.”
The latest three rounds of the 2011 season will feature extensive live coverage on ITV4 and ITV.com on Sunday, with a live broadcast running from 11:00-18:00. Round four of the season is due to start at 11:35, with round five at 14:25 and round six at 17:15 (schedule changes permitting).
This season, the BTCC will also appear in High Definition on ITV4 HD while Saturday’s qualifying session, which is due to run from 15:20-15:50, will be available to view on the ITV.com website.