The British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) returns to racing after its traditional summer break this weekend at Snetterton and privateer team Tech-Speed Motorsport begin the second half of the season in confident mood.
The team will ether the first of the three races at the Norfolk circuit lying third in the teams' independent championship and their lead driver in their Honda Intregras, Paul O'Neill, seventhy in the overall drivers' title and third in the independents' championship.
The positive mood ahead the weekend is only helped by Widnes-based O'Neill setting the third fastest time when the BTCC teams tested at Snetterton last month.
“We have to be confident going into the weekend and have got to be aiming for the podium in all three races,” said O'Neill. “Hopefully we can play our cards right and take a victory, but I want to come away from the weekend knowing we have done our best. I want to try and reclaim the lead in the Independents' championship and get the car onto the podium, but that elusive top step is the ultimate goal.”
The weekend will also see the Sunshine.co.uk sponsored team return to the site of its first podium last year, when O'Neill carved through from eighth on the grid to third in the opening race of the 2009 event, and the driver believed he and the team are better prepared twelve months later.
“There is no doubt that we go to Snetterton with a better car than we did last season,” he said. “I've been working with my engineer to get the car better suited to my driving style in order to help us move forwards and we are reaping the rewards of the hard work the whole team has put in.”
O'Neill’s teammate, John George, has also made gains on his pace last season, his performance at the recent test an improvement on his 2009 pace and after closing out the first half of the seaon with a drive through the field at Croft to finish just outside the points the Guernsey driver is hoping to help to add to the team's points haul from the weekend in Norfolk.
“Croft went well before the summer break started, as did the test we did at Snetterton last month before the rain arrived,” he said. “We ran twelfth quickest on the day and I'm sure the car will be strong at the weekend. There is no reason why we can't work our way into the top ten in at least one race at the weekend and pick up some points.”