Paul O'Neill is looking to continue the form he showed in the sunshine.co.uk with Tech-Speed Motorsport Honda at Thruxton in the next three races at Rockingham, Northamptonshire on the 24/25 April.
Rockingham is something of a home round for the fans favourite O'Neill – originally from Widnes but recently has lived in Kettering, Northants – and will return to the circuit where he took the team's best qualifying result of the season in 2009.
Lying fourth overall in the standings after Thruxton, O'Neill is looking to back up his race two podium from Thruxton with another podium result at the Rockingham circuit.
O'Neill spoke about his chances at Rockingham, saying: “We've got to be realistic but last year we had our best qualifying result of the season at Rockingham with fifth on the grid. Thruxton was fantastic and I'm certainly not going to be 'namby pambying' around at Rockingham just trying to take some safe points finishes in seventh or whatever. I'm after as many points as possible and going for the podium again.”
O'Neill also predicts that the Chevrolet Cruze of Jason Plato could be the car to beat around the 1.94 mile Northants circuit, having diced with the 2001 Champion at Thruxton. He went on to add: “I think the Cruze will be in a class of its own around Rockingham – that car should suit that circuit brilliantly. I was challenging Jason for position in one race at Thruxton but one thing I discovered is that he is cleverer than anyone else on the grid. He knew exactly when and how to defend without compromising his race. He was playing a canny game all day and came away with a lot of points.
“He is textbook. He's human at the end of the day but he's a fantastic racer. The way he defendedâ€¦ it was like watching the ultimate old pro' and you know exactly where you are with him. It was good to see him squirm for a bit, but I don't think I'll get as close as that to him at Rockingham. I'd put money on him winning at least two of the three racesâ€¦”
Photo credit: BTCC.net