James Nash's early consistency has made him a surprise contender for this year's British Touring Car Championship, but the Triple Eight driver is still to take his first BTCC victory. This weekend's meeting at Croft presents the next opportunity to change that.
Five podiums in the 12 races so far have left Nash in fourth place, just eight points adrift of series leader Matt Neal and four ahead of reigning champion Jason Plato. Had he not failed to score for the first time this year in race three at Oulton Park, Nash may have even brought the lead with him to North Yorkshire.
Vauxhall have more race wins at Croft than any other manufacturer in the hands of Triple Eight, and Nash is feeling confident going into this weekend, as he looks to add to their tally.
“There is usually a good crowd at Croft and I'd love to give them something to cheer about. Hopefully, the team and I can find a bit more performance, but irrespective we've just got to keep pushing. I am though feeling confident and very much looking forward to the weekend.”
Oulton Park was the first weekend of the season in which Triple Eight teammate Tony Gilham has failed to score points, but the Dartford driver has a good record at Croft in the Porsche Carrera Cup, and he is hoping that continues on his first appearance there in the BTCC.
“I always look forward to racing anywhere to be honest, so in a sense Croft is just another track. Having said that I've done reasonably well there in the past and hopefully will do so again this weekend. We need to have a good practice and qualifying to build from, but yeah, looking forward to racing at Croft.”
Ian Harrison, Chairman of Triple Eight, is hoping to make the necessary step forward to challenge for victory this weekend, but is mindful that the team must retain the consistency that has put them in contention.
“Croft is quite a technical circuit and one where we've proved that we're not too bad. We've got a good car this season but we've got to get a bit more out of it somehow and we have got to keep finishing. That's the key to the whole thing. So far we haven't won a race this year and yet we're still right there at the front end of the Championship, which goes to show what a good job the team and James especially is doing. From here on in keeping everything tidy will be vital.”