After struggling for pace against their turbocharged rivals at Thruxton Tech–Speed are aiming to bounce back this weekend in the three British Touring Car races at Oulton Park.
The month away from the track between the rounds has been full for the team, working on their S2000-spec Chevrolet Cruzes, while TOCA have made alterations to the technical regulations, offering Tech-Speed the chance to run 25kg lighter in an effort to balance performance with the turbocharged cars.
However, as team boss Marvin Humphries explains, taking advantage of the opportunity is not as easy as you may think.
“I'm not sure how much of the weight we can get out of the car to get down to the new base weight, but it isn't going to have a massive effect compared to the turbo cars. We need to wait and see when we get on track but we are optimistic about Oulton Park and will give it our best shot.”
Like many of the other drivers on the grid Paul O'Neill and John George list the Cheshire track as among their favourite venues and for Widnes man O'Neill the weekend at his home track offers a slight advantage.
“Oulton Park is my home track and I do a lot of work there so I'm keen to see what we can do this weekend. I want to put on a good show and it's vital that we have a good weekend. We can't afford to have another weekend like Thruxton, and we won't have another one like that.”
“If we can get the weight out of the car that we are now allowed to take out, then that is going to help us move up a few places in qualifying and get into the top ten,” he added. “Then we can focus on building on that in the races. The lower base weight is a start, but we found a few things on the car that we wanted to look at and the guys have worked hard to make some changes ahead of the weekend. I'm sure the car will be mint and it's going to be interesting to see what impact those changes have when we hit the track.”
Teammate John George is a little less positive, doubting the regulation changes will bring the normally aspirated and turbocharges cars together in terms of performance, and is anticipating another weekend battling the other S2000 cars towards the rear of the field.