The annual British Touring Car Championship saw the official launch for David Pinkney and his Pinkney Motorsport outfit.

For the first time since his Vectra SRI V6 Challenge win in 1999, the 2010 season see Pinkney in his self run team, running the former Fabrizio Giovanardi Vauxhall Vectra, powered by the new 'Next Generation Touring Car' 2 litre, turbo petrol engine.

The official media day gave the team, managed by Andrew Dean, a chance to see how they were doing compared to all the other runners. Before Media Day, the Black and Pink liveried Vectra had run at Brands Hatch and Oulton Park, in a blank livery.

During the day, the team completed 66 laps and set a best time of 49.392s, a time which was within 0.1s of the other NGTC Engine powered car, the Vauxhall Vectra of Andrew Jordan.

“I'm pleased to be back with my own team and we are lucky that Vauxhall's decision to pull out last year has allowed us to take on some of the guys who worked with Triple Eight last year and who know the car,” Pinkney said. “We were in the right place at the right time and are lucky that we can also call on a good pool of guys to help run the car this season.

“We've been running similar laps to Andy all day and were within a tenth of a second of each other on the times, but there is a bit of a gap to the front-runners, so we seem to be a bit under-powered at the moment. But the Vectra is a fantastic chassis – one of the best out there. It's a brilliant piece of kit and through the corners in particular, it's an awesome car.”

Team Manager Andrew Dean commented that the day has been constructive and that the teams focus was now fully on Thruxton, which is over the weekend of the 3rd and 4th April: “It's been a constructive day for us, continuing to work together with Swindon Engines to understand more about the car and the engine,” he said. “We know the car has the capability, but we just need some more time to realise its full potential. This has been our first chance to gauge ourselves against the opposition, but I don't think that our rivals have shown their true hand. Thruxton will be an interesting season opener.”

Photo credit: Vince Pettit Photography