Paul O'Neill, who sits third in the BTCC Independents' Drivers' championship believes he and his GoMobileUK.co.uk with Tech–Speed will face a “difficult” weekend at Donington Park under the challenge of their turbocharged rivals.
“Qualifying is going to be tough, but the aim is to be as high up on the grid as possible and try to make sure we are the top Chevrolet,” said the Widnes-based driver. “The turbo cars are going to be quick over a single lap but we want to be in the best position we can be for race day.”
While other teams face the second race with the new spec NGTC engine Tech-Speed are still adapting to the ex-RML Chevrolet Cruze's they debuted at Brands Hatch. In cars purchased with the help of 2010 title sponsor sunshine.co.uk O'Neill improved steadily through the three races at Brands Hatch, ending the day with an ever-popular podium.
“The aim this season is to try and score 20+ points on each weekend and we did that at Brands Hatch,” O'Neill explained. “However, there is still pace to find in the car and we need to get the Chevrolet more suited to my style. We learned a lot at Brands Hatch and have shown what we can do, and we need to take what we learned and continue to make progress at Donington. It's certainly not easy, but then again it isn't meant to be.”
Teammate John George also improved throughout the opening weekend, setting his fastest lap of the day in the final race of the day. For Donington he has set his sights on chasing a place in the top ten.
“I'm really looking forward to the weekend,” he said. “I think Donington Park will be a good circuit for the Chevrolet, although it is also a circuit that will suit the turbo cars so we need to see how it goes. With a race meeting under my belt, I feel more at home in the Chevrolet and having improved my pace throughout the weekend at Brands Hatch, I'm keen to try and fight further up the order.”
“Donington hasn't always been my best circuit but, even though I may need some attrition elsewhere, I'd like to think that I can get into the top ten this weekend and score some points.”
Tech-Speed boss Marvin Humphries added; “we go into the weekend on the back of a positive start to the season at Brands Hatch, and both drivers made progress in the first three races which is what we wanted to see. Hopefully we can continue to make that progress this weekend.”
However, he still echoes O'Neill's concerns; “Donington Park is a circuit where it may be difficult against the turbo cars but we need to see how it pans out when we get on track and just focus on our own programme without worrying about what other people are doing. That's what we did at Brands Hatch and we were pleased with the outcome, and we'll work towards a similar outcome this weekend.”