After a difficult start to the season, Redstone Racing is hoping for a return to winning ways when the Dunlop MSA British Touring CarChampionship (BTCC) arrives at Donington Park circuit this weekend (14/15 April).
The Derbyshire track has been a scene of success for the Kent-based squad in previous visits, with Mat Jackson steering his Ford Focus ST to race three victory in 2011.
Jackson is hoping for a repeat performance after a frustrating opening round at Brands Hatch, in which a final round retirement thwarted his chances of a podium result, to elevate him from ninth in the Drivers’ Championship standings. The 30-year-old is fully prepared for a potential rollercoaster ride on track after incorporating a VIP visit to Alton Towersinto his preparation for the weekend!
Redstone Racing newcomer Aron Smith also has a strong record at Donington Park, notching up his first ever Renault Clio Cup victory at the 1.96-mile circuit in 2009. Despite two incidents – both of which were due to being in the wrong place at the wrong time – causing major setbacks to his progress at Brands Hatch, Smith was buoyed by the pace his Ford Focus ST showed; something he plans to capitalise on in Derbyshire.
In contrast to the poor fortunes of his team-mates, Liam Griffin arrives at Donington Park in a confident mood after a quietly consistent start to his second BTCC season. Griffin avoided multitudinous on-track incidents at Brands Hatch to bring home three point scoring – his best set of finishes in the championship to date.
After a mixed bag of results in the opening three races, Redstone Racing currently lies fifth in the Teams’ Championship, third in the Independents’ title chase, and Team Principal David Bartrum is confident that a better run of luck can yield a stronger performance during the next BTCC instalment.
Redstone Racing driver Mat Jackson said:
“Brands Hatch was a frustrating weekend; the car felt really good by the third race but unfortunately it wasn’t to be. However, looking forward to Donington Park we’re going to keep plugging away and aim for some better results. The NGTC cars have been quick but they’re on a steep learning curve, so having the Ford Focus ST – a car which we know inside out – could play into our hands.”
Redstone Racing driver Aron Smith said:
“Donington Park is a special place to me as it’s where I had my first win in the Clio Cup. However I’m not going to put any expectations on my shoulders. I was really pleased with my pace at Brands Hatch so I’m hoping we can arrive at Donington Park and be quick!”
Redstone Racing driver Liam Griffin said:
“I’ve had a consistent start to the season and now I want to build on that confidence. Donington Park’s sweeping nature will suit my driving style so I’m looking forward to the weekend!”
Redstone Racing team manager Oly Collins said: “After Brands Hatch we're looking forward to Donington Park. The guys in the workshop have done a great job of turning the cars round after a fair amount of damage. There were some positives to take from Brands despite the results not being what we wanted, so we're hopeful of some strong results this weekend. All three drivers like the circuit and it was the venue of our first Focus win last year!”