Having shown themselves to be the class of the BTCC field in sheer speed at Snetterton Team Aon are hopeful of using the same advantage this weekend at Silverstone.
The team's LPG fuelled Ford Focus cars, driven by Tom Chilton and Tom Onslow-Cole were clearly the fastest over the weekend, even after series organisers took the unusual step of forcing the team to run to run a smaller restrictor – the decision coming between the first and second races of the weekend.
Now, as the series moves to another high-speed layout – the 1.64 mile Silverstone National Circuit – the team expect to be fighting for wins again, ominously suggesting the short track at the British GP venue suits their car even better than Snetterton.
“The layout of the Silverstone track plays to the strengths of our LPG powered, turbo-charged Ford Focus,” said Chilton who scored two podiums at the previous round. “It has two long straights where we can expect to have a slight advantage and more importantly, only two heavy braking areas, which is where everyone else has an advantage over us.”
However, given their obvious advantage the team class Snetterton as a missed opportunity – especially for Onslow-Cole, who started from the back of the grid in race one and finished race three outside of the points after an on-track incident.
The driver goes into Silverstone “quietly confident” while describing three high-scoring finishes as “imperative” if he is to preserve his dwindling hopes of becoming champion. Still he, and the rest of the team expect to have to fight Jason Plato, whose Chevrolet was perhaps the only car on a par with the Ford's speed at Snetterton for the victories in Sunday's three races.
“After a bitter sweet weekend at Snetterton, where we were not fast enough to beat Jason Plato, we go to Silverstone hoping to at least fight for victory, which will be tough given the improved pace of the two Chevrolet’s,” said Mike Earle, team principal. “But hopefully, even with our new smaller restrictors we will be able to make a race of it, unlike Snetterton where Jason just drove off into the distance in the first two races, despite his car carrying success ballast!”