Tech-Speed Motorsport has confirmed they will enter a pair of Chevrolet Cruzes in the 2011 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship for Paul O'Neill and John George. The team will compete under the GoMobileUK.com with Tech-Speed banner after mobile phone retailer Go Mobile came in as a new title sponsor.
The team have recently enjoyed successful tests at both Brands Hatch and Snetterton in the cars, which the works Chevrolet BTCC team ran last season. It's a step up in machinery for the team, which ran ageing BTC-spec Honda Integra's in the last couple of seasons.
Tech-Speed chief Marvin Humphries said: “It's good to be working with Go Mobile for the year ahead and also to be continuing our relationship with Sunshine.co.uk after the success we have had in recent years. It might take us a little while to get used to the new cars, but we are optimistic about our chances for the year ahead and are looking forward to working with RML, who have enjoyed huge success with the Cruze both in Britain and in the World Touring Car Championship.
“It's too early to say how we will perform during the season until we see where everyone is, but with a proven race-winning car, we hope to be in contention near the front of the field.”
The highlight for Tech-Speed in recent seasons has been the giant-killing performances of Widnes driver O'Neill, who has taken their Integra to four podiums in the past two seasons. The move to the Cruzes gives him a great chance to return to the top of the podium for the first time since he was a factory Vauxhall driver in 2003.
O'Neill, who will be racing Jason Plato's 2010 title winning car, commented: “I'm over the moon that the deal has finally been done. In testing, the Chevrolet has been everything I expected from a title winning car and now I just need to make the most of the time available in the car before we get to Brands Hatch for the season opener.
“There is a lot of potential for us to explore in the Cruze, but this season we have to be targeting consistent top six finishes and race wins. We don't have the big budgets of some of the top teams when it comes to the overall championship, but there is no doubt that my sights are firmly on fighting for the Independents' title to reward Tech-Speed, Go Mobile and Sunshine.co.uk in putting the deal together.”
For team-mate George, the new Cruze represents the most competitive package he has enjoyed in his BTCC career. After improving throughout last season, he hopes the new car will allow him to consistently challenge for points as the team looks to compete in both the overall and Independent team championships.
George commented: “Last season was my most competitive in the BTCC, and I'm hoping to go from strength to strength this year. My initial laps in the Chevrolet have been good and it's a well-sorted and precise machine, as you'd expect from a title winning car.
“It's early days but we have a very good package for the year ahead and I'm hoping that I can be even more competitive this season and challenge for points at every round. Having a strong team-mate like Paul for another season is great and I'm really looking forward to racing with Tech-Speed and Go Mobile during the year ahead.”
Go Mobile joined the team last season and 2011 sees them step up their backing of the team. The new title sponsorship deal marks their first full year of BTCC sponsorship. Title sponsor last season Sunshine.co.uk are remaining onboard as a team sponsor for the new season.
Go Mobile managing director Julian Barton said: “GoMobileUK.com is delighted to be involved with the BTCC. The passion and excitement of the events and the fans is second to none in domestic motor racing, and we will bring some of the championship buzz to life in our stores and online with a series of great offers and giveaways.”
The GoMobileUK.com with Tech-Speed cars will be seen in their new livery for the first time on the annual BTCC Media Day at Silverstone on Thursday, 24 March.