The Techspeed run Sunshine.co.uk team are in confident mood ahead of the 2010 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship after a strong showing in the first official timed test sessions, the official Media Day at Brands Hatch.
The team which will run cars for the popular Cornishman John George and Widnes driver Paul O'Neill, will be looking to build on a strong showing in 2009, capped by O'Neill's teary podium finish at Snetterton. The cars, which are some of the oldest on the grid, are still capable of causing upsets and good results.
The cars have undergone a complete rebuild during the winter, and with added improvements as well, the team look well placed to build on their 2009 exploits.
The test saw O'Neill set the eighth fastest time during the morning session, before setting a top 10 time during the afternoon, which left him ninth overall in the combined timesheets, just half a second off the fastest session time, set by the Chevrolet Cruze of Jason Plato.
“The car was really good but personally, I feel I could have done better,” he said. “The time we set was good considering it was on older tyres and I didn't really get the most out of the newer rubber we put on the car, but setting times wasn't important. It was all about looking at some developments Tech-Speed have made to the cars over the winter and they worked really well. The car has had a full rebuild over the winter and it's in much better shape than it was at the end of 2009. It's in top shape and should do the business this season.”
For George who joins Sunshine.co.uk after 3 seasons in his own team ended the test just shy of being under a second slower than Plato but still a very good effort for the Cornishman, who was feeling under the weather on the day.
“Having a team-mate who is prepared to give me a hand will be a huge help this season – I haven't had that before,” he said. “I think I will learn a lot from Paul during the year and in the morning session I went quicker than I ever have before, and on old rubber, so I think that says that I can do a lot better than I have in the past. I'd really like to score at least one top ten finish from each round and I feel that would be a massive improvement for me. There are no mugs out there and it will always be difficult, but I feel we can achieve that aim this season.”
Marvin Humphries, the team Principle of Techspeed/Sunshine.co.uk, added: “Testing went well, we had a productive day and everything went to plan – and it was good to see what our rivals are doing.”
“Paul had a good day in the car and wasn't far from the pace, but John was feeling under the weather and didn't do as much running as he planned to. Overall though, he has fitted in the team well and he and Paul are working well together. We really want to help John try and move up the grid this season.
“We tried a few things out on the car that we have been working on over the winter and we have made some steps forward. It's difficult to judge the opposition until we get to Thruxton but we are realistic with our aims and are hopeful that we can build on last year and have another strong season.”
The managing director of title sponsor, Sunshine.co.uk, Chris Brown said: “We're really looking forward to the season; Tech-Speed has put a lot of hard work into the car during the winter and they looking stunning in their new livery. We have a full year behind us now running the Honda so we have to look to build on the success we enjoyed last year. I'm confident we will do well, especially after Paul's performance in testing where he set some good times on older tyres and with more fuel in the car. John has also been lapping well and has settled into the team quickly, so we're confident for the year ahead.”
Photo credit: Vince Pettit Photography