With the first race of the BTCC less than a day away, ESM’s BTCC correspondent brings you the latest last-minute news.
Following the BTCC Media Day last week, there was an official test with the times charts topped by Andrew Jordan. However, Jason Plato and reigning champion Gordon Sheddon were not far behind him. An impressive fourth was Adam Morgan in his Ciceley Racing Toyota Avensis.
A new team has been created running under the sponsorship name of M247 Racing with a S2000 Chevrolet Cruze. The team was Finesse Motorsport, who ran in the Renault Clio Cup, and they have joined forces with the well renowned Tech-Speed Motorsport. The lucky driver competing for the Jack Sears Trophy will be Joe Girling.
There is also a welcome return to the grid for a fans’ favourite car: The Seat Leon. Naturally, I have an extra special love for the Leon as I drive a TFSI version, but it seems widely accepted that it is an excellent touring car. Warren Scott will have the honour of driving this car, despite him being more use to 2 wheels. We’ll see how it goes!
As you may be starting to gather from previous articles, I don’t have a great love for Andy Neate. However, as the season starts, Neate’s team have announced they will be running 2 Chevrolet Cruzes this season. Donington Park will see the emergence of one of the cars, with the other following later in the season. Understandably, Neate doesn’t want to risk the first car at Brands Hatch because it will come last. Sorry, I mean because he doesn’t want to risk the car due to it not being finished in time for testing ahead of the season opener. I wouldn’t rush Andy, you’re not really going to be challenging for any honours.
In my last article, I predicted Lea Wood was more than likely to be seen on the 2013 grid in a Speedworks Avensis. Well, I was half right! Surprisingly, Wood has announced that he will be returning to the grid but racing a Vauxhall Vectra; God love this car. It is now surely older than Sir Paul McCartney? With this announcement, it means that Wood will join the growing ranks of people competing for the Jack Sears Trophy. The gap left by Wood’s non-arrival at Speedworks has been filled by Ollie Jackson, despite Paul O’Neill being linked with the seat.
Following this week’s final additions the grid is packed ahead of the start of the 2013 new season. I can’t wait!