Triple Eight Race Engineering with Collins Contractors are ready to try and continue their good start to the British Touring Car season at Donington Park this weekend.
Unfortunately for the team the fortnight after Brands Hatch has been dominated by sponsorship woes of Tony Gilham. Despite being the only BTCC newcomer to claim overall points in all three Brands Hatch races, an agreement with a potential major sponsor collapsed leaving a shortfall in funding.
However, the team's title sponsor – Gilham singles out managing director Phil Lavender – has stepped in to keep Gilham and the no.34 Vectra on track. “Sarah at Sponsorship Bidder has been a real help,” adds Gilham, “and I have to mention the fans too. Since Brands the number signing up to my fanzone and our competitions has been fantastic. I appreciate their support very much.”
“Donington is a track I've been looking forward to. Hopefully, we'll be able to put on a good showing and after the week I've just had I'm doubly looking forward to it!”
James Nash, fresh from a weekend of running at the front of the field at Brands, has enjoyed a more leisurely break between rounds, including a visit to Cambridge where the East Anglian Air Ambulance – for whom Nash is a fundraiser – launched a new helicopter.
Having finished all three races at Brands Hatch inside the top six Nash is upbeat in the build-up to Donington Park.
“I'm really looking forward to Donington,” he states. “We had a great first weekend at Brands Hatch scoring a podium in the first race and running strongly in the other two. We hadn't had much opportunity to go testing beforehand and so the best thing for me to take away from Brands was the fact that we learnt so much about the car and in particular, the turbo engine we're using for the first time this season.”
Triple Eight's Brands showings put them among the fastest teams using the new NGTC turbocharged engine, and crucially again appeared to be among the best at conserving their tyres – something which had been though a problem for the heavier cars. It is this knowledge that has Triple Eight chairman Ian Harrison asserting that “baring incident” his two drivers could improve on their earlier performance.