UK 2.0: Jonathan Fildes Croft preview

Irish saloon car sensation Jonathan Fildes arrives at Croft Circuit in North Yorkshire just over a week from now, 15th/16th July, focused on achieving his third podium finish of the season and hoping to take his first win in the Blaupunkt SEAT...

Irish saloon car sensation Jonathan Fildes arrives at Croft Circuit in North Yorkshire just over a week from now, 15th/16th July, focused on achieving his third podium finish of the season and hoping to take his first win in the Blaupunkt SEAT Cupra Championship.

The 31-year-old former Renault Clio Cup and Dunlop Supercars Champion, who is sponsored by Asgard Taverns, Applied Signs & Display, Atari Expo and AM Speedsport, is bidding to climb back up the SEAT driver standings next weekend at Croft courtesy of a brace of excellent results.

Jonathan, who lives in Co. Meath, competes in the series with Lee Brookes' Total Control Racing squad, the team with which the Irish star won the Clio Cup title in 2003 -- a stunning achievement in his first and only season in the championship. He then remained with TCR for his switch to the Porsche Carrera Cup Great Britain in 2004.

Croft is a circuit Jonathan enjoys and after the disappointment of the previous SEAT race meeting at Thruxton just over four weeks ago, where he unfortunately posted his first non-finish of the year, he is now aiming to bounce back in style and give fresh impetus to his 2006 title campaign with at least one race victory.

Jonathan commented: "I love Croft, I always enjoy racing at the faster circuits. Ideally I want two wins but we have to berealistic about our chances. I've never been a qualifier, it's always the races where I do my best work on the track, but if we can qualify in the top six I'm confident I can challenge for victories from there.

"I am enjoying racing in the SEAT this year, it's certainly a more predictable car than either the Porsche or the Renault Clio I raced before. The last round at Thruxton was very disappointing and I know I need to win at least one race at Croft if we're to mount a push for the championship in the second half of the season."

In something of a departure from his regular tin-top career, Jonathan had his first ever competitive run in a Formula 3000 car at the end of last month in his native Ireland and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

This past weekend he also got a taste of the world of Formula One along with the McLaren Formula One Team in Spain. Unfortunately for Jonathan it wasn't behind the wheel of an F1 car, rather a V12 BMW saloon camera car which he piloted as the team filmed a new commercial for its key sponsor Johnnie Walker.

"The F3000 was great fun and I thoroughly enjoyed driving the camera car for the McLaren commercial", added the Irish sensation, "My focus now though is back on my SEAT championship bid, I want to take two wins at Croft."

Rounds seven and eight of the 2006 Blaupunkt SEAT Cupra Championship will take place at Croft Circuit on 15th/16th July in the category's regular slot on the prestigious British Touring Car Championship support race package.

Official pre-event testing will take place on Friday, 14th July, while qualifying will be held at 10.50 and 15.00 on Saturday, 15th July. Round seven is set to start at approximately 12.40 on Sunday, 16th July, while the eighth round of the season will begin at 17.25.

Both races will be covered live on Motors TV, channel 413 of the Sky Digital platform and via cable provider NTL on channel 173.

-www.jonathanfildes.com

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Series Formula Renault