Twenty Four year old James Nash has today had his first taste of the car which he will race in this weekend's Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship races at the Rockingham Motor Speedway in Northamptonshire.
Nash, who completed a part season alongside Jason Plato and Mat Jackson in a RML prepared Chevrolet Lacetti has returned to the series in the car which Fabrizio Giovanardi took to a brace of victories during the season opener at Thruxton over the Easter weekend.
Having recieved special dispensation from TOCA, the BTCC organiser to test the Vectra ahead of this weekend's race action – Nash put the car through its paces around the new Arena configuration of Silverstone.
The Newport Pagnell based driver, who impressed during the five race weekends he completed with the RML outfit has said that his aims for this weekend are clear: “My ultimate aim is to impress Triple Eight. I want to be their next driver when hopefully they get a new factory deal with a manufacturer. Rockingham and Brands Hatch are coming up back-to-back, on consecutive weekends, so I've definitely got a great chance to make an impression inside eight days or so.
“Whether I can actually work my way into the title race I don't know. Missing the first three races at Thruxton makes that incredibly hard. But if I do my job in every race, every weekend it could become possible.”
The opportunity to drive for the Triple Eight outfit is a great reward for the promising British star and after the Silverstone test soon saw why Italian superstar Giovanardi was able to take back to back title in the car. In the three years and three races that Giovanardi drove the car, he secured twenty two victories.
Nash added: “Instantly you notice it has a lot more front-end bite to it which will be of great use when going for a passing manoeuvre. I can also see why Fabrizio was so consistent in this car. It's a very smooth drive and if you ever watch him driving it he doesn't have to work too hard at the wheel – it's the sort of car that does a lot of work for you.”
With the announcement that Nash has joined the team, Triple Eight now has two of the UK's most promising youngsters in its ranks, with twenty six year old Philip Glew in the sister Vectra, and looking to build on a promising debut where he secured a pair of top ten finishes to sit ninth in the standings.
Photo credit: BTCC.net