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Simon Belcher: BTCC is a dream come true

Simon Belcher admits that racing in the British Touring Car Championship in 2014 is a ‘dream come true’ after he unveiled the livery on his Toyota Avensis for the forthcoming season at the Autosport International show.

Belcher graduates to the BTCC in 2014 with Handy Motorsport, racing an ex-Speedworks Motorsport Toyota Avensis raced by Ollie Jackson in 2013. For Belcher, the move to the BTCC marks the culmination of almost a year of preparation, which saw the team also consider staying in the Renault Clio Cup.

“It’s a long-time dream come true,” said Belcher to TouringCars.Net. “We’ve been working on it for nine months and we started reasonably early in 2013. We were undecided if we would race the new-generation Clio Cup car that’s being launched ready for next year, or whether we would make the step up to touring cars. We evaluated everything, we talked to our partners and our sponsors and we’ve managed to put something together.”

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Belcher added that the most important part of his pre-season preparation is to get solid track-time in the car and admitted that he could test abroad if the UK weather continues to prove problematic.

“If we test in the UK it’s obviously going to be weather permitting,” added Belcher. “There’s probably six weeks before the media day and we’d like to get three or four tests in.

“There is always the opportunity to try to go abroad to do some testing. Maybe if the weather looks like it’s going to be completely wrong for us then that’s an option that we might consider. Maybe at the end of February, beginning of March, we could just got out and do a solid block – maybe three days in Spain – but whatever happens I will get track time in the car whether it’s here or abroad, because I know from everything I’ve done in the past that’s the most important thing.”

Before testing can begin for Belcher his Toyota is due to undergo an upgrade process immediately after the Autosport International show which has seen several components upgraded to the latest specification. Although the car is to be run by Handy Motorsport, Speedworks will continue to provide technical support to the team.

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