No.28 John George – No.29 Paul O'Neill
S2000 chassis and engine
A late confirmation sees Tech-Speed jump from Sunshine.co.uk sponsored Honda Integras to GoMobileUK purple Cruzes, though last year's title sponsors were an integral part of the move for 2011.
The move transforms a team – and a driver in O'Neill – renowned for fan pleasing underdog battles into a squad that should be contenders for regular points and podiums, battling the teams at the very head of the grid.
O'Neill is one of a number of drivers aiming for – and capable of winning – the Independents' title. This is a fight, likely to dominate the middle and rear of the top-10, that could offer more competition than the overall standings, which could be dominated by manufacturers. Vectras, Fords (both old and new) BMWs, and O'Neill among others will be a highlight of the season.
Teammate John George will be looking to put the new car to good use, pushing up the field in search of points in each of the ten race weekends.
John George Onâ€¦..The new car compared to the old
“This is much neater car, the S2000 spec makes it a much smoother car to drive, it's not anything like as agricultural. It's very well put together and you can feel the difference, obviously it five year's newer car and it shows.”
Paul O'Neill Onâ€¦..The improvement in the Cruze
“Massive, massive step up. The car is a completely new platform for us – modern machinery, we're just trying to get used to it, getting the best out of the tyres and how the car works. I can't really complain it's all going really well so far. We know what we've got to do to be quicker and it's all good.”
“You have to coax this car into the corners a lot more. With the Integra you could hustle it round and she'd be on song for you but this car just needs a bit of coaxing into the faster corners but it's brilliant in the slow corners, it's fantastic.”
Verdict: All good. Indy tilt for O'Neill, more points for George.