2012 may not be giving Dan Welch much to write home about but the Proton pilot is optimistic for his and his team's future.
Welch Motorsport introduced their NGTC machine last season hoping to steal a march on their rivals but despite the car's potential mechanical problems have hit the small team hard, leaving them with “more mixed results than good ones”.
Nonetheless, Welch believes they do have a competitive package and despite other problems putting question marks over the team's participation in the remainder of this season, he is hoping it does not come to that.
Speaking to theCheckeredFlag.co.uk, he said: “We feel we're on top of the handling of the car – to put it in perspective; we've not done one test day with the car since we built it. We've only done the race weekends – so we're doing all of our work on a race weekend and trying to get through as much as possible and we don't feel we're that far off Dynamics or Triple Eight on that side of things.
“We think for Snetterton we've got a very strong car. We're not far away, and with a little bit of luck we can get there – it kind of showed at Oulton, where we still had a load of problems. We should go there and have a strong car, qualify somewhere reasonable and have three good races – it's just the getting there at the minute. “
Despite describing the first half of the campaign as “pretty awful”, Welch, the son of former rallycross champion John, has enjoyed mixing it with the bigger outfits – even if it has sometimes been shortlived.
“We've done the best we could with what we've got,” he explains. “It's nice to get in amongst the big teams and race with them, but that's where we expected to be anyway. We quite hoped by getting in with the NGTC stuff six months early last year it was going to pay dividends, and with all the known mechanical gremlins now sorted and tracks we have driven on we are in good shape.
“When you're in there doing it you're always striving to do better. We don't turn up for top ten finishes, that's not the target. We're turning up to have race wins and podiums so anything less than that it's not good enough. We know our budget compared to the bigger teams is tiny, but we can only do the best we can with what we have – it takes the same effort to have a bad day as a good result, the championship is very competitive.”