Team Aon Team Principal Mike Earle described his team's performance during its World Touring Car Championship debut weekend at Monza as 'an incredibly promising start'.
Tom Chilton ran as high as 11th place during the first race before crossing the line in 13th. Teammate James Nash got caught up in a first corner incident in which he sustained heavy bodywork damage, but recovered well to finish his first WTCC race in 16th.
Their finishing positions were reversed in the second race, with Nash coming home 13th, while Chilton recovered to 16th after suffering contact from behind and falling down to 19th place.
Earle was very pleased with his team's debut weekend on the world stage.
“This weekend has seen the team go through an almost vertical learning curve – which is what we expected in a new series, on a new track, with a new engine and a highly modified car,” he said. “We’ve shown though that we’ve been very close to the pace of some of the front runners and all in all it’s been an incredibly promising start to the season which the team can be proud of.”
Chilton said: “It was great to see that the car has potential in qualifying and race set-up. We didn't have the greatest of luck during the races but I think we can be proud of what we've achieved in our first race weekend.”
Nash added: “The team did a fantastic job all weekend, after the damage from race one they were outstanding when they worked on the car. I think we can be proud to have been so close to the other cars in terms of pace – to be battling with the BMW's, and other established teams, is really good. I think this shows that we certainly have the potential – all credit to the team this weekend.”