Simon Belcher counting down the hours to BTCC season opener

With only a few days remaining until the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship begins over Easter weekend, Independents Trophy runner Simon Belcher says he can’t wait to be back behind the wheel of his Toyota Avensis – and is targeting a suitably strong start to his second BTCC season.Counting down the hours until the championship curtain-raiser this coming weekend, 4th/5th April, at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit, the Swindon driver heads into the first event of the 2015 campaign aiming to continue the excellent progress his Handy Motorsport team has made over the winter.

Making great strides with set-up and performance during the off-season, the Wiltshire squad is genuinely confident of an increasingly competitive campaign this year. With a full season of touring car experience as a driver to call upon as well, Belcher says he is relishing the upcoming season more than any other in his four-wheeled career.

“It feels a very long time since the end of our first season in the BTCC at Brands last October, so we can’t wait for the new season to get going”, he commented, “Last year was a real rollercoaster and we learned so much, experience we’ve been putting into practice over the winter. We’ve made big steps with the car and applied some major upgrades and we’re starting to see the fruits of that.

“Everyone in the team is feeling very buoyant, our lap times at Donington during the Media Day were a big improvement on what we achieved 12 months earlier and we know there is much more to come as we didn’t use any new tyres. We’ve still got a lot of development to come over the coming weeks too. It’s all very exciting, I really am looking forward to this season more than ever.”

With boosted support from Webb Garden Power Equipment this year, coupled with continued key backing from KÄRCHER, The Handy, Q Garden, Rocwood, TH White and Corbeau, everything is in place for Handy Motorsport to try and make progress up the BTCC grid.

Last season, Belcher – who arrived in touring cars off the back of winning the 2012 and 2013 Masters Cup titles in the BTCC supporting Renault UK Clio Cup – ended his rookie campaign in 24th position in the Independents Trophy standings, with Handy Motorsport 16th in the Team Trophy.

Following free practice at Brands Hatch this coming Saturday, 4th April, the first qualifying session of the season will get underway at 15.40. On Easter Sunday, 5th April, round one is scheduled to start at 11.47, round two will begin at 14.17 and the third and final race of the weekend is timetabled to commence at 17.12.

All three BTCC races will be screened live on Sunday as part of a bumper eight hour broadcast on ITV4 with live online streaming also available at www.itv.com/btcc


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