Simon Belcher got his pre-season testing programme for the 2015 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship underway with a strong run at Silverstone on Friday, 20th February – marking his first opportunity to experience significant set-up changes made over the winter to his Toyota Avensis.
With Speedworks Motorsport, the strength behind the Handy Motorsport team, having drafted in highly experienced race engineer Geoff Kingston at the end of last season, the renowned touring car expert has been working hard to make considerable improvements to Belcher’s car.
During his first track appearance of the year, the Swindon racer enjoyed a trouble-free run and says the Toyota is already handling and performing much better than during his rookie BTCC campaign in 2014. Most importantly, there are a series of other updates in the pipeline as testing continues over the coming few weeks.
“We had a great day at Silverstone, it was fantastic to be back out on track and especially working with Geoff [Kingston] for the first time”, said Belcher, “The changes he has made to the car over the winter so far have improved it considerably, and there are lots more updates to come.
“I really am very upbeat after Friday’s test, everything went incredibly well and the car felt so much better than it did last year. We have lots more testing planned before the Media Day and I think we can deliver a far more competitive car this year based on what we’ve achieved so far.”
While Belcher will continue to receive key backing this year from 2014 sponsors KÄRCHER, Webb Garden Power, The Handy, Q Garden, Rocwood, TH White and Corbeau Seats, the new season livery on his Avensis won’t be unveiled for several weeks.
Aiming to make significant strides during his second year in the UK’s biggest and most popular motor racing championship, the double Renault UK Clio Cup Masters Cup Champion is justifiably confident of working his way up the BTCC grid this season.
“We’ve obviously only had one test up to now but the improvements Geoff has made really have given me huge confidence for the new season”, added Belcher, “I can’t wait for the first round, we have a lot of work to do over the coming weeks but everything is looking incredibly positive.”
Donington Park in Leicestershire will host the annual BTCC Media Day on Tuesday, 24th March, with Kent’s Brands Hatch Indy Circuit the venue for the opening three rounds of the 2015 season over the weekend 4th/5th April.