Simon Belcher was encouraged as notched up invaluable miles at a recent test held at a blustery Silverstone circuit in his Handy Motorsport Toyota Avensis.
As his British Touring Car Championship debut edges ever nearer, the Swindon driver clocked up around 200 kilometres on the National circuit layout on Friday (14 February) with his KÄRCHER-liveried Toyota Avensis, working on a variety of set-up changes throughout the day.
Mixed conditions greeted the Handy Motorsport man, who was joined by fellow Toyota driver and BTCC rookie, Tom Ingram, Belcher trading data with the Speedworks squad of whom originally built the Avensis he will race during his maiden campaign.
“It was a full day of wet testing and it went well, we made some good progress”, said Belcher. “The changes we applied to the car made it better and better, even though the conditions were getting worse the times weren’t dropping off. We just need some dry testing now.
“We did another 200 kilometres in the car and it was good to be back working with the Speedworks guys again. We were also able to share data with Tom Ingram who was out testing for the first time, with two people out there trying different things it means you can push forward at twice the speed.”
Reigning double Renault UK Clio Cup Masters Cup champion Belcher will visit Cheshire’s Oulton Park circuit for his next pre-season test in early March, as well as making a trip to Brands Hatch and finally Donington Park for the series media day on 18 March.
“It’ll be all systems go the next time we’re out at the start of March, everything ramps-up then as we get towards the first round”, added Belcher.
“Both runs we’ve had at Silverstone so far have been positive, getting plenty of mileage in at Oulton Park, Brands and Donington is going to be really important before the start of the season.”