BTCC

Positive Opening Test For Triple Eight

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Triple Eight Race Engineering with Collins Contractors enjoyed a strong start to their 2011 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship campaign at the series official test at Silverstone.

The team recently confirmed James Nash and Tony Gilham would be running for them this season and both were present at the test to get some much needed track time. With Nash's car still yet to be finished, the two drivers shared Gilham's Pink and Green Vectra.

The test gave the team their first chance to run their new TOCA turbo NGTC engine, while it saw Gilham enjoy his first taste of a BTCC car ahead of his debut season in the series, after graduating from the Porsche Carrera Cup GB.

Nash, who ran with the team in a Vectra last season, impressed throughout the four hour-long test to end the day second fastest overall, just 0.29s off Andrew Jordan in his NGTC turbo powered Vectra. Gilham's best time saw him just over half a second off Nash's best.

Reflecting on a good day, Nash said:“ The car feels a bit weightier than before, but we have worked on the front set-up to compensate. I'm now really looking forward to the first event next week at Brands Hatch. I'm confident that I can qualify in the top half of the grid”

Team-mate Gilham added: “This afternoon's test was a very good education. The front-wheel drive Vectra requires a very different driving style to the Porsche I've been used to, and I know that there's more time from me to come.”

Triple Eight Chairman Ian Harrison commented: “Other than a very minor electrical connector issue, the new engine has run without problem and James has shown that it's got speed. Considering too that it was Tony's first time in a touring car, his performance today was very solid. Overall, a good day.”

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Simon provides coverage of the support championships for the BTCC, having been a fixture in the TOCA paddock for over six years.
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