The trucks are packed and the cars are ready to shakedown this morning as BTC Norlin Racing prepare for Snetterton Race Circuit for Round 6 of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship.
Whilst the Championship has taken a break for six weeks, it has been busy at BTC Norlin Racing, having tested at Snetterton earlier in July and working hard to exceed the performances in the first half of the season.
New to the grid in 2017, BTC Norlin Racing with drivers Dave Newsham and Chris Smiley have already achieved some great results. The last outing at Croft saw both drivers scoring points, finishing in 13th and 15th and Dave Newsham continuing his run of points at every round so far.
The ambitious team is ready to hit the ground running at Snetterton, targeting both cars in the top 15 in qualifying and top 10 finishes in the races. The 2017 BTCC field is incredibly competitive this year, but the team are feeling optimistic following a successful test earlier this month.
Speaking at the workshop earlier this week, team manager Bert Taylor was confident that the team has taken a step forward. “We have been working hard to build on what we achieved so far this season, and really, given that we are a new team this year, we have achieved a lot. We had a great test at Snetterton and I am confident that we will see a step forward with our results.”
Finishing 5th overall at the July test, Dave Newsham was feeling very confident with the car performance and the data that the team collected. Round 6 also sees Dave revisit a circuit that he has fond memories of.
“Snetterton is actually the venue of my very first BTCC win! The track suits me well and I’ve always done well at the circuit. Podiums and independent wins are our goals for the rest of the season. With my improved BTC Norlin Racing Chevy, I seem to have the tools for the job now, so no excuses…”
Whilst teammate Chris isn’t new to BTCC, 2017 will be his first full year in the Championship, and he certainly isn’t there to make up numbers. Having won the Mini Championship in 2013, scoring nine wins and 14 podiums, Chris is not content with just scoring points.
Just before he left Belfast for the mainland, Chris was very clear about what he wanted to achieve in the final half of the season.
“I really want to build on the first half of my first proper season in the BTCC. The team, Dave and myself have really learnt a lot as a team from working together. It is very easy to forget that the team didn’t exist 8 months ago!”
“With that in mind, I am so proud with all that we have done so far. We have certainly not had a lot of luck in the first half of the season but we know that we have good pace in the car, and this was shown at the two-day test earlier this month.”
The BTCC track action gets underway Saturday morning at Snetterton, with the cars taking to the track for free practice at 9:30, and another free practice session at 12:10. Qualifying will start at 15:50, giving all 32 cars on the grid 30 minutes to pull together their perfect qualifying lap.
The races start on Sunday at 11:37 and can be watched live on ITV.
Photo: Jay Adair