#28 John George – #29 Paul O’Neill
Tech-Speed Motorsport with sunshine.co.uk return for a second season with the Honda Integra's, driven by popular Cornishman John George and the fans favourite driver, Paul O'Neill.
O'Neill showed that the Honda Integra is still a proven piece of kit with in the 2009 season, as he took 20 points finishes in the 27 races he competed in (missed the opening 3 races due to other commitments), and with it took an extremely tearful podium finish during the opening race at Snetterton.
If it hadn't have been for some bad luck or incidents with other drivers, O'Neill could have had more podium finishes – a puncture at Thruxton while running in second, spun off at Donington Park while charging up the field, and an alternator failure while leading in the wet race at Croft.
For George, 2009 saw him have his worst season as he failed to score a point and had a very restricted budget which limited him. Away from the problems 2009 saw George reach the magical 100 BTCC race mark.
George, at the end of the season, said about one moment which made his tough 2009 season worthwhile: “I remember at Oulton Park in May, after pulling off onto the grass, being at the far side of the circuit and signing autographs and having my picture taken with people. We may have lost the race, but let's win the PR – you know me!”
“Anyway, a chap comes over and asks 'What happened?' So I tell him but say 'Never mind, I don't think anyone will miss me out there.' The guy looks all hurt and says 'John, me and my family will miss you – we travelled 200 miles to support you todayâ€¦.”
“I really felt a chump, particularly when I looked properly at the guy and saw he was wearing a Team JAG fleece and cap. You don't get that racing in other championships.”
Team will still be a force, even with the age of the car. George will learn from O'Neill, who will constantly be a thorn in the front runner's side.
For George, an improvement on his 2009 season, and a success would be a better result that his current best, which is an eighth.
TCF Driver Prediction:
George: 19th, could be higher if he betters his best ever result.
O'Neill: 12th, outside chance of finishing in the top 10 overall. A podium finish is a must for O'Neill; a win will flood out the circuit…
Photo credit: Vince Pettit Photography