Having finalised its driver lineup for the 2011 British Touring Car Championship season, Triple Eight Race Engineering has turned its attention to its planned programmes in the Porsche and Ginetta support championships.
Last week the team announced that Tony Gilham would partner James Nash in the team's BTCC lineup. Team chairman Ian Harrison has explained that his team is now focussed on signing drivers for the Porsche Carrera Cup GB and Ginetta GT Supercup which it will compete in for the first time in 2011.
“The touring cars are currently in build and so with the factory occupied with that, my Sporting Director Les Jones and Paul Leech have been particularly busy this past couple of weeks, either in meetings or on the phone trying to tie-up deals for the Porsches and for the Ginettas,” explained Harrison.
Harrison explained that, although they are close to finalising deals with some drivers, problems with funding are making things difficult.
“Les and Paul have been talking to a core of about six drivers for some time now and I'd like to think that we'll have deals with at least two before long. Though, with nothing firm it's fair to say that the market remains very tough out there. I know too that it's not for the want of trying – everyone is struggling to put together sufficient budgets to do a programme justice.”
Harrison added that he feels racing in both series offers good value for any prospective driver, despite the costs involved.
“Obviously, the Porsches are quite expensive to run, but for the serious GT driver does it get any better than a race around the 14 mile-long 'proper' Nurburgring which is where the Porsche Cup GB will be racing in June?
“The new Ginetta G55 is a well-engineered piece of kit too and as I've previously said, I'm sure that the drivers are going to really enjoy racing them. Add to that a free drive in a NGTC-spec car in the 2012 BTCC for the series winner, a Ginetta drive has got to be high on the list of wants for an aspiring driver.”