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Team Aon eager to continue progress

James Nash and the Team Aon squad head to Austria and the Salzburgring looking to continue their progress in the 2012 World Touring Car Championship.

Rounds 11 and 12 of the season mark the half way point in the season and Nash’s maiden season in the WTCC has been a tough experience despite scoring the best result for Ford in Morocco.

“Notwithstanding scoring Ford’s best-ever result in the WTCC (6th in Morocco) we haven’t had much luck in the races though. A combination of getting hit by others (twice) and one or two niggling issues with the car has held us back a little,” explains Nash, who currently has ten Championship points to his name.

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“Hopefully, as we approach the halfway stage our luck in the races will change for the better.”

The last three race weekends – Marrakech, Slovakia Ring and Hungaroring – have seen Nash progress into the top twelve in qualifying, and a top four grid result in Slovakia.

The season has been a development season for the team and their Ford Focus and Nash has enjoyed being a part of the development of the car.

“I enjoy engineering almost as much as racing and being central to such a prestigious project as the development of the all-new Ford Focus touring car has been hugely satisfying. We’ve taken the car from the lower midfield in the opening round of the Championship to a top four grid in Slovakia,” added Nash.

“That said, we said before the start of the season that it would very much be a learning process with the aim being to become a regular top 10 runner before the end of the year. We’ve almost achieved that already.”

The 2011 British Touring Car Championship Independents’ Champion is looking forward to the Salzburgring weekend, as it gives him and the team a chance to show their true form as the circuit will be new to the vast majority of the grid.

“I’m looking forward to racing on the Salzburgring. The track hasn’t hosted the WTCC before so for many it will be a new track to learn. Obviously that includes me and the Team Aon guys too but it means that we start the weekend on a more level footing than is usually the case and I hope that it will offer us another chance to demonstrate the progress we’ve been making,” concluded Nash.

Tom Chilton echoed his team-mate’s sentiments abotu the Austrian circuit, which appears on the WTCC calendar for the first time in 2012.

“It’s a track that I’ve never driven around so that’s quite a challenge, but I think there’s quite a few drivers up and down the field who also have never driven the track before so it does even the playing field a little – a bit like Slovakia,” said Chilton, who is just one position behind Nash in the championship.

“We have a few new parts coming to the car for this weekend which I’m feeling good about and, as always, our aim is to qualify within the top 12 and hopefully have a better weekend than we did in Hungary.”

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