Airwaves Racing boss David Bartrum says the development of their new Ford Focus British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) challenger is on schedule, following a productive test at Brands Hatch.
The Wrotham-based squad made the short trip to the Kent circuit to embark upon a two-day test earlier this month, with 2011 drivers Mat Jackson and BTCC rookie Liam Griffin behind the wheel. It was the first opportunity for the team to run their new cars after making the switch from BMW to Ford during the winter. The outing also saw the debut of the new red and yellow livery.
The focus of the test was targeted around car set up rather than ultimate race pace, as the team got to grips with the new car. Both Jackson and Griffin gathered valuable data completing stints in dry and wet conditions around the 1.2-mile Brands Hatch Indy circuit.
With the challenge of a new car for the 2011 season, Team Principal David Bartrum was pleased with the information gained and declared himself happy with the rate of the Ford's development.
Bartrum said: “We are on schedule with the development of the car. The first two days at Brands Hatch was about banking data and we were lucky to get wet and dry running. The engineers have got the data they wanted and know how the cars work. Since then they have come back with a plan on what they want to change and develop.”
“We spent the morning setting up the cars and they never missed a beat once and kept going all day. If we were expecting issues with anything the rain would have shown it up, but they kept going.”
“Mat (Jackson) got in the car and went very well which we were expecting. On the other hand, it was Liam Griffin's first time in the car and he took to it well. It was a daunting task but he did very well. I think he will surprise a few people this season.”
The team are due to continue their test programme with a visit to Cheshire's Oulton Park on Wednesday (March 2). Airwaves Racing will line up on the grid for the first round of the new BTCC season at Brands Hatch on April 2-3.