James Nash, the reigning British Touring Car Championship Independents Champion is ready to make his World Touring Car Championship debut this weekend at Monza in the Team Aon Ford Focus.
Monza signals the start of the 2012 campaign, a campaign which will see the series visit twelve circuits in eleven countries in five continents. The series heads to the USA in September for the first ever race of the USA at Infineon Raceway.
Since signing for the team in January, Nash has been out in Spain and Portugal testing ahead of the trip to Monza, which is one of Nash’s favourite circuits and one that he has previous experience of racing at.
Nash said about the forthcoming weekend: “I’m really looking forward to Monza. I raced there in 2008 in the Seat Eurocup and it remains one of my favourite circuits so making my WTCC debut there will be extra-special. We’ve managed to put over 1,500 kilometres of testing on the car over the last few weeks and our pace has been good. Of course we won’t know just how good and where we stand against our competitors until we take to the track at Monza, but so far things look promising.”
Pre season testing has seen Nash using his engineering skills as well as learning about the control Yokohama tyres, compared to the Dunlop tyres he has been used to in the BTCC.
“One of the main things we’ve been learning about is the WTCC Yokohama control tyre and with me being new to the team and to the Ford Focus I’ve been learning as much as I can about the car too which in any case is early in its development programme and has a new engine this season.
“I’m a keen Engineer as well as a racer so having a role in the programme has been fun and was one of the attractions in signing in the first place. I know that my input has been good as I’ve helped the team find one or two things that have definitely improved the car and found us time too.”
He has also been using the pre season testing to learn more about the team and has stated what his first aim at Monza will be: “Getting to know the guys has been good. I already knew my new teammate Tom Chilton from the BTCC of course but I’d like to thank Mike and all at Team Aon for making me feel so welcome. Mind Tom is the first person I want to beat In Monza and I know he’ll feel the same about me!”
The 2012 FIA World Touring Car Championship will be shown live on Eurosport all season and online via the Eurosport Player, which can be accessed via www.eurosportplayer.co.uk, while fans can follow Nash’s progress via his official twitter account, www.twitter.com/jamesnashracing and his website, www.jamesnashracing.com.