Last week at Brands Hatch, The Checkered Flag caught up with BTCC racer Tony Gilham to ask him his views on his performance thus far in 2012.
How is your season going so far?
“Good, we’ve got a podium and we were leading at Thruxton. We’re just held back by budget again, which is always going to be a stumbling block for us as a small, private, family team. We weren’t able to get a wet set-up on the car for Thruxton so we had to stick with a dry one which killed our tyres. It’s good to be up there mixing it with the big teams.”
Has leading a Thruxton boosted your confidence?
“We want to be at the front, we’re not going to be in awe of anybody. Whilst we respect everyone on the grid, I’m there to win and do a job to the best of my capabilities for the team. So if I’m out there I’m just going to get my head down there and keep going. We don’t want to be letting anybody past and giving them an easy ride: we want to be winning races and we want to be picking up trophies. So that’s what we need to do.”
What’s your view on the tyre regulations? Does it put you as a S2000 runner at an unfair disadvantage?
“There’s always going to be that [inequality] but if you can’t afford to develop an NGTC car then that’s what you’ve got. You’ve got to work with the tools you’ve got, so that’s it. I mean there are advantages and disadvantages, and arguments both ways, so we’ll just get on with it. I not going to be creating issues or anything; I’ve got the car I’ve got. Usually the tyres are available to the task and that’s it. I’ve just got to get my head down and get on with it.”
How have you adapted to your new car?
“The Civic is an amazing little car, it’s very different to the Vectra and the BMW we drove at the end of last year, but to be honest I don’t really care what we drive – we just want to know that we’re in a good car, just get out there and compete because we’re confident that we’ve got the pace. We just need to get some more sponsors in so we can keep moving forward.”
What are your goals for the rest of the season?
“I need to finish the championship inside the top-10. I want to stand on the podium in my own right rather than doing it belatedly after Donington. I want to get more trophies by the end of the year.”