Airwaves Racing are hoping reap the rewards of extensive pre-season testing as they head to local track Brands Hatch for the season opener this weekend. The team have been seen testing their Ford Focus ST’s at Brands Hatch, Oulton Park, Snettertton 300 and the BTCC Media day at Silverstone last week.
At the recent Silverstone test Mat Jackson finished the session in fourth, 0.403 seconds off the top time, whilst Liam Griffin was the twelfth fastest driver as he prepares to make his BTCC debut.
Speaking ahead of the first meeting of the season, team manager Olly Collins said: “Generally we’re all very pleased with our pre-season testing. Both cars finished the Silverstone test really strong and we are just about getting to grips with the Ford’s just in time for Brands Hatch. We have learnt a lot about the cars as a team in all areas, pace, reliability, strength and we have put our own input into all these areas to improve what was fundamentally a good car to begin with.
“The Motorbase team have been working very hard behind the scenes in all areas to achieve this. Mat has got to grips with the car immediately and has done some great development work. Liam has been fantastic and is really getting to grips with it. Considering his relative inexperience he has really got into it right from the word go and has surprised us all with his approach and pace. We’re now very much looking forward to the start of the season.”
Mat Jackson continues with the team into 2011 and will return to piloting a front-wheel drive car. Significantly, he admits that the team are vastly better prepared for the coming season and is eyeing up a championship challenge.
“So far so good,” said Jackson. “We have got some good testing under our belts which is a huge improvement over last season, for our 2011 campaign we have strengthen up on many areas that we believe will help us to challenge for the outright title.
“It’s also great to know that we’ve got the continued support of our major sponsors on board with Airwaves, The Moneyshop and Leyland Paints all back with us for the season, and to welcome on board Redstone and Addison Lee. I’m sure that we will provide the fans and sponsors alike with an entertaining year and hopefully something to cheer about!”
Ahead of his BTCC debut, Addison Lee Managing Director Liam Griffin admitted that he is looking forward to Brands Hatch. The former VW Cup and Porsche racer added: “Pre season testing has gone well and given me time to get used to the new car, both to look at and to drive,” he said.
“I have learnt an awful lot from Mat Jackson and Motorbase about how to set up these cars and I think everyone is generally very happy with where we have got to. Whilst I would always want more time in the car I feel I have got to a stage where I can turn up at Brands and at least feel as though I will enjoy it!”