Triple World Touring Car Champion Andy Priaulx said that he is expecting to learn a lot in the opening race of the 2015 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship season, of which he starts on pole position.
Priaulx picked up from where he left off in BTCC by claiming claiming pole position at Brands Hatch over 12 years after his previous outing in the championship, back then racing for Honda in 2002 when he also started from the pole starting slot.
The Guernseyman on Saturday clinched the number one spot on the grid for the opening round of the 2015 season in fine style, his effort prior to a stoppage with 10 minutes remaining proving enough to seal the deal in the best conditions of the afternoon.
Priaulx held off the attentions of the trio of BMR Racing Volkswagen CCs, led by Aron Smith, saying that his strongest asset is still to come in race conditions.
“It’s brilliant”, Priaulx told The Checkered Flag on Sunday. “I would say that qualifying is not always my strongest point.
“I like racing and I can be consistent. Hopefully that will stand me in good stead, but my last year in touring car racing was 2010 and I probably had the best year of my career.”
While qualifying remains just part of the job, the West Surrey Racing man says that he will learn more in race trim on Sunday afternoon, the BMW man having not yet driven long distances on the softer tyre he will start on.
“Obviously [qualifying] was yesterday, today’s a different day. I hope I can race really strongly. I’m very confident in the car and very comfortable, consistent and we’ll see how it goes in race one.
“I’ll start on the soft tyre, so let’s see how that reacts. I haven’t done a long run on the soft tyres yet, so there are few things that I’ve got to learn.”
The manner of the pole-sitter’s opposition is also something that the returning Priaulx is expecting to learn more about in race conditions, adding: “I need to also learn who to trust – who to believe and who to lean on – but I’m really looking forward to race one.”
The return to home soil and the BTCC is something that the former GT, WTCC and DTM racer has no doubt about however, relishing his return to the fan-friendly British circuits.
“I always loved doing my home race here, but this year I’ve got 10 home races and I’m already loving every minute of it.”