Aron Taylor-Smith said that Triple Eight have been playing catch-up after a productive Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship Media Day outing at Donington Park.
Triple Eight were one of the latest to announce their driver line-up for the coming season, bringing in the experienced Taylor-Smith alongside youngster Daniel Lloyd who embarks on his first full BTCC season.
22nd and 26th in the final classification respectively, MG’s newest recruits spent much of Thursday’s Media Day test at Donington Park acclimatising themselves with the MG6 GT, four-time race winner Taylor-Smith wary that the team are initially playing catch-up in terms of mileage and set-up.
“It’s a huge learning curve for me as it’s a new car with new RML components, so it’s just a case of trying to settle into a groove” , Taylor-Smith commented to The Checkered Flag come the conclusion of the Donington test.
“We wanted to run through a load of different damper settings and springs to see what package we’ve got to go with. Some other cars have done a lot more testing than us already; they can roll out their best, while we were cycling through what we really wanted to learn.
“Really beneficial day though. We’ve covered a lot and have a clear direction which always helps you.”
One of the key talking points at Donington was the latest Dunlop tyre compound introduced for 2017. Irishman Taylor-Smith said that the new rubber will provide an additional challenge for engineers, but that testing showed positive data results for MG ahead of the Brands Hatch opener in April.
“I think the tyres will need a little bit more development than the previous”, he said. “It’s more of an engineering challenge ahead for the team to get it to work, especially with this being the first run we’ve had on them [on Thursday].
“We’ve learned what they switch on in the car and what switches off, so a productive session.”
On Triple Eight’s chances of success at the season opener, the former Vauxhall, Ford and Volkswagen driver remained confident the team can contend for victories from the off.
“The car still has every capability of being at the front again”, said Taylor-Smith ahead of another test outing a Snetterton on Friday. “That test will be great – it will really help. [Thursday] was about settling in.”