Hi everybody, welcome to my first TCF blog of 2011…it's all set to be a great year!
The first thing to say is how happy I am to be part of Silverline Chevrolet again for the new season, it's a real privilege to have such a fantastic opportunity and I plan on making the most of it.
Last year was fantastic and I learnt so much from all the guys at RML and from Jason (Plato) of course. He's got so much experience in touring cars and his record speaks for itself. To be back with the team for 2011 gives me a great platform to work from.
With the season starting just a week from now (2nd/3rd April) the year is about to get a lot busier and I can't wait to get out on track for the first qualifying session. We had the Media Day and official test at Silverstone this week and it all went well.
The morning mainly consisted of having photography taken with the new Cruze and there were media interviews to do as well. Jason is writing a column for The Sun again this year so, as his team-mate, I've been doing a lot of interviews with them too.
We had an open pitlane throughout the afternoon and tried lots of different set-ups to try and tailor the car more to my driving style. I've got to say, the new Chevrolet Cruze feels fantastic, it's a great car and feels even better than last year's – which was incredible itself!
I was in the top two for most of the test but slipped to seventh at the end, I'm not worried though as we were only a few tenths of a second off. I'm sure at Brands next weekend we'll be able to start the season well, the important thing is to score as many points as possible during the early rounds to then try and build a consistent challenge.
The BTCC looks like having a big grid this year, there are loads of different cars expected and it's going to be as tough as ever. I'm confident we can achieve a top four finish in the championship this year though, last year we had fantastic pace and some great results. If I can add some more consistency to that then we should be in good shape.
I really do believe we should have the strongest car at Brands judging by last year's performance there. I need to try and stamp my authority early on and get some good finishes under my belt to kick start the season. Anything can happen though in the BTCC, and it usually does!
As last year, I'll be keeping you updated with my progress here on TCF. Hopefully it'll be a great season and there'll be plenty of good news to share…