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Alain Menu: ‘We are not where we want to be’

Alain Menu admits that his new team, CHROME Edition Restart Racing, are not yet where they want to be in their preparations for the 2014 British Touring Car Championship season.

Menu is entering his 11th season in the BTCC and his first full season since he took the title for Ford in 2000. The Swiss racer recently tested the team’s Volkswagen Passat CC at Croft and admits that there need to be more improvements in the car.

“For a first time it was quite positive but the truth is we are not where we want to be yet so we need more time,” said Menu to TouringCars.Net. “We need to improve the car and we need to improve the team. I need to get really back into it as well. I’m sure we are going to get there but we need a bit more time.”

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The former double champion admits that he is not looking to benchmark his performances against any driver in particular and is focussed on simply getting the best out of the car and his four-car strong team.

“For me what’s important is myself, my car and the team,” added Menu. “With my team-mates we will really need to work on what we have and try to improve it step-by-step.

“It’s not a question of having any benchmark – the ultimate goal is to win a race, or two, or three and that’s it. In order to do that yes, we have to beat everybody else, and also have some enjoyment. I want to enjoy my racing – it’s my life and I still love it so I want to enjoy racing.”

Menu is one of the most experienced drivers on the grid, having made his BTCC début back in 1992 – only one year shy of Matt Neal, who started his BTCC career in 1991. He admits that it’s difficult to compare the NGTC car to the previous Super Touring, DTM and Super 2000 cars he has raced.

“They are all different,” said Menu. “You can’t compare with the DTM because the DTM has rear-wheel drive, carbon brakes, downforce, bigger engines – it’s completely different. It’s quite similar to S2000 in some ways, mainly because it’s front-wheel drive, but those cars are heavier so they feel more sluggish and are not as nimble.

“You feel like the car is rolling more [with NGTC] but I don’t know whether we need to work on it or if it’s just a characteristic of these cars. I’m still a bit green. Usually I’m quite smooth so we’ll see if that works.”

Menu will be looking to add to his tally of 36 wins and 86 podiums in the 2014 BTCC, which gets underway at Brands Hatch on Saturday 29th March.

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