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Simon Belcher endures sodden first test run

British Touring Car Championship newcomer Simon Belcher endured a wet and windy test session in his new Handy Motorsport Toyota Avensis at Silverstone on Friday as he completed his first test of the year.

The test session marked the first time that Belcher had taken to the wheel of his Avensis in anger. Belcher ran the test session in conjunction with Speedworks Motorsport’s Tom Ingram, with the Handy Motorsport squad working in partnership with the Cheshire-based team in 2014.

“It was a full day of wet testing and it went well, we made some good progress,” said Belcher after the test. The changes we applied to the car made it better and better, even though the conditions were getting worse the times weren’t dropping off. We just need some dry testing now!”

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Belcher added that having the opportunity to run in conjunction with Ingram had allowed the team to gain twice as much data.

“We did another 200 kilometres in the car and it was good to be back working with the Speedworks guys again,” said 39-year-old Belcher. “We were also able to share data with Tom Ingram who was out testing for the first time, with two people out there trying different things it means you can push forward at twice the speed.”

Belcher will next test his car in early March at Oulton Park and Donington as he prepares to step up from the Renault UK Clio Cup to the BTCC.

“It’ll be all systems go the next time we’re out at the start of March – everything ramps-up then as we get towards the first round,” added Belcher. “Both runs we’ve had at Silverstone so far have been positive; getting plenty of mileage in at Oulton Park, Brands and Donington is going to be really important before the start of the season.”

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