Airwaves Racing are targeting victory at home as the 2013 British Touring Car Championship gets underway at their local circuit, Brands Hatch in Kent.
After the mid season debut of the NGTC Ford Focus in 2012, the team expand to a brace of NGTC Ford Focuses with Mat Jackson and Aron Smith driving the cars while Liam Griffin pilots one of the S2000 Ford Focus ST’s in the Jack Sears Trophy.
2013 sees the team enter their first in house built cars with a third NGTC Focus in the wings and with a new livery after Wrigley’s Airwaves returned as the teams’ title sponsor.
The team head to Brands Hatch in positive mood despite their pre season testing programme being hampered by the inclement weather of the past few weeks.
For Smith, the season opener at Brands gives him the chance to replicate his maiden BTCC victory which he secured in the penultimate round of the 2012 campaign on the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit.
“I’m so excited ahead of the first round,” explains the Irishman. “To be back on the grid and to have Airwaves back on board so strongly with the team is literally a dream come true for me.
“We’ve stepped up once again with the cars and the team have worked so hard over the winter to develop the NGTC into something a lot stronger than what they finished last year; even then to think that Mat possibly could have won three races in the NGTC last year; I think that’s a really good starting point!
“The last time I was at Brands I won my first ever BTCC race so I have really fond memories of it as you can imagine; so fingers crossed we can go back there and do the same again!” concludes Smith.
Jackson returns for his fourth season with the team and having taken the cars first win at Silverstone in 2012, he is looking to challenge for victories from the off.
“I always look forward to going racing at Brands; obviously it’s the team’s local track and we always get a lot of support whenever we race there,” said Jackson. “With the NGTC programme we’re now up to two cars so hopefully we can get the set up in the right direction to challenge for race wins from the off, and everybody at Airwaves Racing is working immensely hard to achieve this.”
Having finished the media day test a lowly 14th, Jackson still feels that he can challenge at the front of the field.
“We’re learning throughout the testing. We’re learning the good and the bad you can always take the positive out of each test and I think hopefully we’re in a good position to go forward into this weekend with some cars that we challenge the boys at the front with,” added Jackson.
Griffin heads to Brands Hatch in the S2000 Focus after previously announcing that he was to step down from racing in the BTCC after the 2012 campaign. He is looking to challenge for glory in the Jack Sears Trophy in 2013 in the Addison Lee Motorbase car.
Griffin said ahead of the opening rounds of the 2013 campaign: “It’s great to be back! I thought last year was going to be my retirement but having looked at what else is out there and just missing the BTCC over the winter period you end up thinking that there’s nothing else that you want to do; it’s just like a drug and you just have to come back for another dose!”