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Martin Depper getting a ‘good feel’ for Civic

Martin Depper says he has enjoyed a ‘great’ winter testing programme with Pirtek Racing, as the 45-year-old gears up for his second season in the British Touring Car Championship.

“I’m really happy – at the end of last year I was speaking to a few people and I was looking at cars to acquire and how we were going to run them,” said Depper to TouringCars.Net. “Eurotech Racing and Jeff Smith’s car became available and the opportunity for the seat came up.

“It all fell into place and gets me where I want to be really, which is in a great team with great people and a fantastic car, and it allows me to concentrate on the driving.”

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Depper has been extensively testing over the past few months, including outings at Donington Park, Thruxton and Oulton Park. The former Mini Challenge and Volkswagen Cup racer now feels that he is starting to get used to the NGTC-specification cars.

“It’s been a great winter testing campaign which has worked well – it’s allowed me to get used to the car and to get a feel for it,” admitted Depper. “These things [NGTC cars] are very different.  The braking is probably the biggest difference.”

Depper made his BTCC début back in 2010 at the wheel of a S2000-spec BMW 320si, run by the small Forster Motorsport team. A difficult season saw him score no points and take a best finish of 12th during a part-season campagin.

“It was a first year and we had lots of challenges and we did an OK job for the tools that we had around us. But after we finished at the end of 2010 I had a few things going on at home as well, so we couldn’t really carry on that particular season. So I pegged it back but it’s always been in the back of my mind to try and do it properly.

Looking forward to 2014 Depper believes that the environment created by reigning champions Pirtek Racing will allow him to get his head down and focus on his driving in an ultra-competitive 2014 field.

“The thing I’m really excited about is I can totally have confidence in the car and the team,” added Depper. “I can go out there and really concentrate on myself instead of coming back in and wondering ‘is it something we need to change’ or ‘is it the car’ – which is the first racing driver excuse. I can purely just focus on myself – this is down to me, so let’s get on with it.”

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