BTCC silverware for AmDTuning at Brands Hatch

The team enjoyed a solid start to its Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship campaign as the 2015 season roared into life at Brands Hatch.The West Thurrock-based team headed into the season opener seeking to challenge for points finishes with new driver Mike Bushell, and the Tunbridge Wells racer delivered the goods on race day with a fine performance that saw him come close to a maiden top ten finish.After a somewhat troubled pre-season, where illness prevented him from completing his full testing programme, Mike was on the pace throughout Saturday’s running at both his and the team’s home circuit, and qualified within a second of the pole time set by triple World Champion Andy Priaulx.Admitting he wasn’t totally at one with the handling of his Ford Focus, Mike had to settle for 21st place in the opening race of the weekend but then made full use of the softer compound Dunlop tyre to take 17th in race two.The final race of the weekend however would see the reigning Clio Cup UK show his potential with an assured performance that saw him fighting wheel-to-wheel with the likes of former champion Jason Plato before taking the flag in eleventh place.Most importantly, that third race saw Mike cross the line as the best placed rookie driver and having been second rookie home in the earlier two races, he emerges from the weekend as the early leader in the Jack Sears Trophy – with an impressive trophy being the reward for his weekend’s work.Mike will take a 14 point lead in the Jack Sears Trophy standings into the second weekend of the season at Donington Park.“Race three was a superb way to end the weekend,” he said. “We’d struggled a bit with the balance of the car earlier on but we made improvements throughout the day and it was certainly at its best in race three. We tried a lot to try and solve the problems we were having and it made a real difference.“I also feel that I drove my best race in race three, and I think I improved as the weekend went on and I gained more experience of the car in a racing environment. I didn’t actually realise that there was a trophy on offer for scoring the most rookie points across the weekend so to then be called onto the podium after race three was fantastic. “It was brilliant to come away from my first weekend as a full-time touring car driver with a trophy, and a great reward for the team.”Team boss Shaun Hollamby was equally pleased with the way the weekend had drawn to a close, with the team having achieved the aims it had set prior to the opening rounds of the year.“I’m really pleased,” he said. “We did struggle a bit at times with the balance of the car but with the improvements we made, Mike did a good job – as he did all weekend.“It’s a big learning curve for a driver coming into the BTCC but he acclimatised well and kept his nose clean. He brought the car home in every race and battled with Jason Plato in the final race, so I think we have a good base to work with.“It’s also pleasing to end the weekend with some silverware and it continues something of a love affair for us with the Jack Sears Trophy. Since it was introduced, everyone who has driven our car has won at least once and hopefully this weekend will be the first of many victories this year!”

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