Power Maxed Racing Team Principal Adam Weaver admits that getting Vauxhall to return to the British Touring Car Championship with his team was ‘a bit of a coup’.
Weaver has been able to tempt Vauxhall back to the BTCC after seven years away by going into partnership with his young team, brining one of the most successful marques back to the championship in a works-supported deal.
Power Maxed Racing currently have a three-year deal with Vauxhall, which will see the team race the new Astra model on the grid for the first time.
With Weaver’s Automotive Brands business looking for opportunities with UK car companies, he told TouringCars.Net that the Vauxhall deal came about by specifically targeting the manufacturer.
“Vauxhall was our number one,” explained Weaver. “It was a bit of a coup – we did approach others but Vauxhall was our target and who we wanted. Because of the history they’ve got in the championship we knew they’d know what they were talking about, but at the same time we knew that would probably make it tough to get them, so it was a bit more of a reward when we actually got it.
“Since they left the championship, every man and his dog has been contacting Vauxhall to come back to it, and we managed to attract them back in!”
When the car and new livery were unveiled at the official BTCC Season Launch at Donington Park on Thursday, the car featured the familiar livery of Weaver’s Power Maxed Racing team.
With Vauxhall logos only apparent in small parts of the car, Weaver insists that his deal with Vauxhall is as much of a works team as any other on the grid.
“It’s a works-supported team, and financially they’re helping us go racing. They’re providing some technical and financial support, and they’re helping us out with vehicles and logistics.
“I don’t want the commercial deal to get blown out of proportion – we are works supported and we are dealing with Vauxhall. The only reason why I say it’s more of a commercial deal is that I’m repaying them for their investment in us as such by putting them in touch with lots of people that use vans.
“I’m not doing anything different. We’re actually doing what real motorsport is about – it’s about marketing, connections and networking and the only way it works is through the money in the sport.
“Obviously if I can help them sell £10 million worth of vans in a year then when I ask for a bit more money to go racing next year, it’s going to be a lot easier than a team which wasn’t helped their manufacturer sell £10 million worth of vans or more.”
“Depending on how we do the deal can get better, so there’s plenty of incentives to do well.”
Weaver also added that there is the opportunity for Vauxhall to get even more involved in the project if they wish, depending upon how the programme develops for the team.
“We’ve got a three-year deal. As far as I’m concerned, it’s just been a toe-in-the-water [exercise] for them until now and now this is our real work to prove ourselves.
“Depending on how we do the deal can get better, so there’s plenty of incentives to do well.
“I fully expect that if they put more resources, money or time behind it, that we would put more Vauxhall branding on the car.”
Talking about the team’s prospects on the race track, Weaver wants to see the team secure its first outright race victory in 2017, having previously tasted podium success with Josh Cook back in 2015.
“[We want to] have fun and be somewhere near the front. I’d like to see us win the Jack Sears’ Trophy with Senna [Proctor], which I think is going to be no easy feat – there’s some fantastic contenders for that this year, and plenty of them.
“I think it’s perfectly feasible to take our first victory – obviously it’s more like that it’s going to happen with Tom [Chilton] to start with, but I’d certainly like to see Senna get close to somewhere close to the podium by the end of the year.
“As long as we’re moving forward, progressing and are reliable, that’s our first objective.”