Pre-Season Testing Continues For BTCC Teams

by Dan Mason

Several Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship teams and drivers ventured out to Brands Hatch earlier this week for their latest bout of pre-season testing miles, while BMR Racing enjoyed two days on track at Croft in North Yorkshire.

Teams chose specific days to run at Brands Hatch during the week, Honda Yuasa Racing giving their new Civic Type-R its first run out on the Tuesday (17 March), shared by champion team-mates Matt Neal and Gordon Shedden.

Triple Eight were also present with new signing Jack Goff, the former Renault UK Clio Cup champion joined by the two Mercedes A-Class machines of Adam Morgan and Aiden Moffat, plus AmD Tuning’s Mike Bushell and former two-time race winner Dave Newsham, who racked up miles in the Power Maxed Racing Chevrolet Cruze.

Making their first appearance in pre-season testing meanwhile were Rob Austin Racing, both Rob Austin and Hunter Abbott completing over 300 combined laps at the Kent circuit with the pair of updated Audi A4s.

“I was very happy with the two days, the team worked brilliantly and the cars ran faultlessly!” said Austin.

“During the winter break we’ve developed some aesthetic changes which people will finally get to see on Media Day, but we have also re-engineered certain areas of the cars under the skin as well as restructuring our staffing and engineering team. Brands Hatch was our first chance to see it all come together.”

Also present on the following day were Eurotech Racing, both Jeff Smith and Martin Depper running in a plain red livery as the former returns to the team he raced with for three seasons between 2011-13.

A fashionable livery appeared aboard the Proton Gen-2 of Andy Wilmot, who makes his full-season debut in BTCC with Welch Motorsport this year having previously made a one-off outing for Tony Gilham‘s HARD outfit in 2013 at Rockingham.

Wilmot enjoyed his maiden run and has another test day scheduled at Donington Park, while his team-mate Dan Welch will run for the first time at media day next week.

Alex Martin will run under the Team Parker Racing banner in 2015 for his maiden campaign in the BTCC, the former Porsche and Ferrari racer present at the Indy circuit in his Ford Focus ST. Speedworks Motorsport also took part, Simon Belcher earning more laps under his belt in the Handy Motorsport Toyota Avensis.

CREDIT: Photos below all courtesy of Darren Hurrell

Team BMR meanwhile took their quartet of Volkswagen CC machines to Croft circuit, the stealth black liveries set to stay the way they are past the BTCC’s official Media Day on Tuesday 24 March according to triple race winner, Aron Smith.

Albeit the track recovering from the British Rallycross’ visit the weekend prior, Warren Scott‘s team enjoyed two days of uninterrupted running at the circuit, Scott himself venturing out on track alongside Smith and his two champion recruits from the winter period – Colin Turkington and Jason Plato.

The team are hoping to also test at Snetterton and Brands Hatch, alongside taking part in the official test on media day held at Donington Park.

“I’m just excited for the year to get going now”, Smith said. “We’re looking in pretty good shape – I think we’ve got one of the best packages out there.”

Photos: Dan Mason

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