Luton-based Team ES Racing head in to the first race weekend of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship on a positive note after an eventful pre-season programme.
Despite damage caused by a testing accident at Brands Hatch the team topped the timesheets with new driver Dave Newsham while team principal Chris James finished in ninth place with the 2011 spec engine.
Team principal Chris James is looking forward to a more even playing field in the Vauxhall Vectra for the start of the year after his debut year in the Chevrolet Lacetti.
“We’re looking forward to getting out on track and seeing what we can do. Dave proved at media day we have the pace to run at the front and we’ll be looking to emulate that at Brands Hatch.
“The team have done a fantastic job in the lead up to Brands Hatch with all the preparation work put in to ensure the cars will be running smooth out of the box.”
Team-mate Dave Newsham is positive following his pre-season tests, he admits the car handled well at the Brands Hatch test prior to media day and gained some valuable data to give the team a head start going in to first practice.
“Before driving the car I was thinking we would be aiming for reverse grid podiums, I think now we can go in to Brands Hatch with outright podiums from outright speed rather than relying on the reverse grid.” Commented Newsham.
Talking at media day team manager Andrew Dean commented: “Obviously the team are still learning the cars and still learning to work with two cars because it’s a big step up for them from one car, but I have to say my initial impression of the guys is that they are massively enthusiastic and very capable so hopefully as the season goes on and we gel as a team we can build on some decent results.”
The first round of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship takes place at Brands Hatch on 1st April.