After a pre-season busy with testing West Thurrock based British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) team AmD Tuning.com are hopeful of securing points when the 2012 season begins just the other side of the River Thames at Brands Hatch.
The team start the season with a new name both above the door and in the driving seat, with Ollie Jackson beginning his first full season in the championship after contesting the closing two rounds of the 2011 campaign for Triple Eight.
The teams turbocharged VW Golf has also not gone unchanged over the winter, with the team making several revisions to the car and – for the first time since their arrival into the championship in 2010 – the team have been able to test in the run up to the first races of the year.
“For the last two years, we have gone into the season without any testing, so we are starting 2012 better prepared and at a higher level than in previous seasons,” said team boss Shaun Hollamby. “Ollie has had time to get comfortable in the car and the team has had chance to get up to speed with the changes we wanted to make to improve the Golf over the winter. The set-up work we have done means the car is more balanced and I'm confident that the engine is going to be on a par with anything else on the grid with the new equalisation rules in place.”
“The extra preparation we have done has been important for us and we have also strengthened the engineering team to give us the best possible chance of achieving our aims this season. We want to be running inside the top ten, which is a high target, but we're confident of a good start. I'm really looking forward to the season getting underway.”
Jackson, who was confirmed at the team at Autosport International in January surprised some with his showings last season is similar in his aims to put the Golf in the top ten to start 2012.
“It's the start of my first full season in touring cars and I'm really looking forward to it,” he said. “We've done a lot of work with the Golf and I'm confident in the improvements that we've made during pre-season testing. I've really got the hang of the car and I'm excited to see where we stand when we get into the race weekend at Brands Hatch.”
“There are a great bunch of guys working on the car and they have done all the hard work over the winter. I've tried to give good feedback to them and lend my expertise as an engineer, and now we need to see how it goes on track. Our target is to be running inside the top ten and I definitely think it is achievable this weekend, but we'll have to see where we are when the chequered flag drops.”
Qualifying for the opening weekend's racing takes place on Saturday March 31, with the three races on Sunday April 1 televised live on ITV4. The Checkered Flag will have reports online throughout the weekend.