Triple Eight Race Engineering with Collins Contractors return to a venue where they have won a record 12 British Touring Car races with the 2011 season travelling to Snetterton this weekend.
However, this year presents a new challenge to the team and the rest of the BTCC paddock – the new '300' layout at the Norfolk venue completed over the winter as part of a comprehensive revamp by circuit owners MSV.
The new infield section adds a mile to the more familiar Snetterton layout, with five new corners, The changes also include a re-profiled final two corners, the final corner now named Murrays after legendary motorsport commentator Murray Walker.
Though several teams have tested on the new track this weekend's meeting will be the BTCC's first racing on the new track.
“The fact that nobody in the Championship as far as I know has yet raced on the new 'Snetterton 300' circuit should help to even things up a bit,” said Triple Eight chairman Ian Harrison. “We've done pretty well here in recent years so hopefully James and Tony can bag a few more trophies for our reception area back at Greatworth.”
Driver James Nash also has history at Snetterton. He span out of the lead at the corresponding meeting last season and in 2009 crossed the line first, but had the win taken away from him after being penalised for contact with Rob Collard while fighting for the lead. Nash lies fifth in the overall points standings, still looking for his first BTCC win.
“I'm really looking forward to racing again at Snetterton,” said Nash. “I loved the old circuit layout so I'm eager to see how they've changed it. I'm going to get up there early on Friday afternoon and have a walk round to see what it's all about.”
“During the summer break I've managed to combine business with pleasure with a trip to China and I've had a bit of a holiday too in Spain. So with batteries recharged I'm ready for action.”
The Triple Eight team is completed by BTCC rookie Tony Gilham, who will be aiming to add to his points tally.
He said: “I've been working non-stop since the last race, trying to get new sponsors on-board; looking after existing sponsors, making sure they're happy which is always my prime concern; and a few things for my own businesses. So very, very busy.”
“It seems a long time since we raced and I can't wait to get back behind the wheel again. I'm particularly looking forward to this weekend because, like James I've always really rated Snetterton and once I've seen the new layout I'm hoping that I'll still feel the same.”