Triple Eight Race Engineering is expecting a strong weekend at Knockhill in the British Touring Car Championship this weekend.
The team will continue to field two turbocharged Vauxhall Vectra’s, with regular driver James Nash joined by 21 year-old Renault Clio Cup graduate Árón Smith.
Lead driver Nash is particularly aware of the need to qualify well around the twisty Knockhill circuit, with overtaking being more difficult due to the nature of the circuit.
“I’ve got to qualify as high as I can for sure, but anything can happen at Knockhill and the only thing you can guarantee is that they’ll be lots of action,” said Nash.
“The points are close at the top and we’re still in with a shout of the Championship. I know that I need to keep pushing and have got little to lose by having a go while guys like Gordon Shedden and Matt Neal might feel a little more circumspect. With Jason Plato around though, I guess that’s unlikely. It should be fun!”
Triple Eight Chairman Ian Harrison is feeling confident ahead of the weekend’s races – saying that he blieves the chassis and engine combination that the team have in 2011 make them one of the stronger squads this weekend.
“I think Knockhill will be quite good,” admitted Harrison. “The cars are always good around Knockhill. We’ve got more power this year than we had last year because the drag up the hill used to be the killer for us so that’s going to help. Chassis wise I still think we’ve got the best car out there.
“James is driving very well too this season. He drove the best laps he’s ever driven for the team last time out at Snetterton and is maturing nicely into a top contender. I’m pleased too that we’ve managed to sign Aron for this one. He’s an impressive young driver and I think he and James will make a great team, so high hopes.”
Ahead of his début in the championship, Irishman Smith knows that he has a lot to learn. The younger brother of former BTCC and Triple Eight driver Gavin Smith faces possibly the most significant weekend in his racing career so far.
“I’m over the moon to be making my BTCC debut with a team with such experience as Triple Eight,” said Smith. “I’m certain that they have a very competitive package and I’m equally sure we will work very well together.
“To get to make my debut at Knockhill makes it even better. The track itself should suit my driving style and now I’m just dying to get out in the car! I know it’ll be a steep learning curve but with the help I’ll be getting from the team I’m sure we can get some good results.”