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Andy Neate: “I’m delighted with where we are”

Andy Neate was a proud team owner after qualifying for the sixth round of the British Touring Car Championship at Snetterton, saying that he was pleased with his new car’s reliable first outing.

Having postponed his appearance in the series until the second half of the season, Neate’s IP Tech Race Engineering Chevrolet Cruze ran in all three of yesterday’s sessions, qualifying 23rd on his return to the series.

Speaking about his Cruze, Neate was thrilled with its performance right from the get-go.

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“It’s fantastic,” said Neate to TouringCars.Net. “We’ve come here, first time out, the car hasn’t really turned a wheel that much prior to coming here so it was the first time I’d driven the car in anger and we’ve had full sessions of uninterrupted running – totally reliable.

“I’ve got to say straight away the chassis is fantastic. We’ve overlaid it with my data from last year and we’ve made a lot of advances mid-corner with the chassis’ performance.”

Neate felt that while he doesn’t feel a great pressure on his shoulders, he now has an added sense of responsibility to his team.

“I don’t feel that I ever felt the pressure driving for other teams,” explained Neate. “[This season] I think it was time to take the jump, I thought it was time to leave and start my own team so I don’t really feel any pressure.

“I think all the drivers out there feel the same sort of pressure because it’s such an achievement just to be here in the first place. I’ve got responsibility to everyone of course but I think we’ve got such a good team around us, and it’s nice just to be in a friendly and relaxed environment.”

Now that Neate has run the Cruze competitively for the first time, although his main aim is still to achieve three finishes, he believes that the possibility of points will be available.

“I think there’s a chance. We’re looking to see if we can get three finishes but I think there’s a very good chance. Race three is always a bit wild so we’ll see what happens.”

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