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|Fresh start for Tech-Speed|
|5 Aug 2011 17:53|
The GoMobileUK.com with Tech-Speed Motorsport team will hope that its bad luck is firmly in the past when it heads to Snetterton this weekend to kick-start the second half of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship season.
The Leamington Spa-based team has shown encouraging speed this season with its ex-works Chevrolet Cruzes, but the addition of a large number of turbo-powered cars to the BTCC grid for 2011 has so far worked against the normally-aspirated Chevrolet.
Having worked on the two Cruzes during the summer break – and with further tweaks to the series’ regulations being made in an effort to equalise performance between the different cars on the grid – the GoMobileUK.com with Tech-Speed team now heads to the new-look Snetterton 300 circuit keen to make a strong start to the second half of the campaign as it seeks to challenge for Independent honours.
Widnes-racer Paul O’Neill currently heads the GoMobileUK.com with Tech-Speed challenge at the half way stage of the campaign, sitting in tenth place overall and sixth amongst the independents having finished inside the top ten seven times so far this season.
Heading to Snetterton, Paul is keen to repeat the kind of performance that saw him secure a podium at Brands Hatch earlier in the campaign and fight towards the front of the field.
“After a tough start to the season, Snetterton marks a fresh start for us,” he said. “Our season really starts now and it isn’t about points and the championship standings; it’s all about going out on track and doing the best we can to challenge for podium finishes and a race win.
“I’m sure that we get ourselves onto the podium again this season and if circumstances go our way, then we can certainly win a race. The tweaks we made to the car at Croft worked well although we didn’t reap the benefits of it and I’m sure we’ll show what we can do this weekend at Snetterton.
“The circuit has changed a lot ahead of this season and I’m not sure what impact the changes will have until we get on track for practice. However, the Chevrolet is a good chassis and we should be strong through the corners to make up for any straight-line deficit to the turbo cars. We should be right in the battle towards the front and I’m really up for the fight.”
Guersney-based team-mate John George has yet to break into the top ten at the wheel of the Chevrolet, but has shown improvement throughout the season and consistently lapped quicker than he has done in the past.
Heading into the second half of the campaign, John’s main target is to close the gap to the turbo-powered cars ahead and work his way towards the top ten in order to secure the overall points finish that his continued improvement has deserved.
“I like Snetterton as a circuit but we need to wait and see what impact the latest turbo revisions have as the stop-start nature of the new layout is likely to play to help the turbo cars,” he said. “Tech-Speed continue to work hard to give us a good car and I have to aim to close the gap to the turbo cars this weekend. If I can get the gap to the overall pace down to between 1-1.5 seconds then I think that would be good progress.
“The changes to the circuit have created more chances for incidents to happen and if they do, I have to try and make sure that I take advantage. I’ve not had time to check the weather forecast yet, but if it happens to rain then I think things could get very interesting!”
GoMobileUK.com with Tech-Speed currently sit ninth in the HiQ Teams’ Championship and are sixth in the Independents’ team trophy, with strong results at Snetterton being viewed as vital to improve on those positions in Norfolk.
“I’d like to think we’ll have more luck this weekend at Snetterton than we’ve had so far this season,” team boss Marvin Humphries said. “The new look circuit is one that should be okay for us and the weather forecast is suggesting that there could be some rain which will also equalise things a little bit between the normally aspirated and turbo cars.
“We’ve had the chance to regroup over the summer break and plan to come out fighting for the second half of the season. There is no reason why we can’t push towards the top six in the races and what we need to do is avoid any incidents in race one and race two as that opens up the possibility of benefitting from the reverse grid in race three.
“That happened quite a bit last season but so far this year the luck hasn’t been on our side. However, what is done is done, and we have to now focus on performing strongly through the second half of the year.”