British Touring Car team Airwaves Racing is optimistic it will have a more successful second round of the championship at Donington Park.
The Motorbase-run outfit were race winners at the end of last season with Mat Jackson’s NGTC Ford Focus ST and had expected to challenge for victory this year after expanding to two cars for the opener at Brands Hatch.
However, both Jackson and Aron Smith suffered technical problems in the race after struggling for pace throughout the weekend. Since then, though, the team have tested at Oulton Park – and have renewed confidence ahead of the weekend.
“Brands Hatch was particularly tough and not the start that we were hoping for at all,” said Jackson, who won at Donington in 2011 and 2012. “We’ve made some big improvements to the NGTC in the weeks since and the testing has helped iron out the reliability issues we were struggling with.
“Donington is a track that we’ve done well at in the past; we picked up our first race win there last season, so hopefully with the progress we’ve made we can bounce back and get our 2013 campaign off to a proper start this weekend.”
His sentiments were echoed by Smith, who believes the team have now got a “completely different car” to the one which raced in Kent.
“We’ve definitely made a big breakthrough with the set up,” he added. “That should transpire into better results and I’m confident that we’ll be in a much stronger position to really challenge at the front this weekend.”
Despite the misfortune of the NGTC pair, S2000 Focus driver Liam Griffin – who is racing under the Addison Lee Motorbase banner in the Jack Sears Trophy – scored two class wins to head the S2000 trophy chase.
He’s hoping for more of the same this weekend: “We were the quickest S2000 around Donington on the media day test, and I have fond memories of the circuit, getting my first top ten finish in there in 2011 so hopefully we can build on that and have another successful weekend.”
It seems Michael Caine‘s campaign – due to start this weekend in a third NGTC Focus – has been set back.