Welch Motorsport head to Thruxton this weekend for the third meeting of the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) season confident of having got over the worst of their engine woes.
Andy Wilmot was forced to sit out two of the three BTCC races at Donington Park due to further engine problems with his Proton power unit. Despite having said at Donington that he hoped to switch to the Swindon engine until his problems were resolved, Wilmot will now use the engine developed by Welch Motorsport at Thruxton this weekend.
Whilst the majority of problems with the engine from the 2014 season were fixed ahead of 2015, changes that the team made inadvertently brought in additional complications which affected both Dan Welch and Wilmot in the early season meetings.
With further work on the engines having apparently rectified the additional teething problems, both Proton Gen-2 cars will carry the team’s self-developed engine at Thruxton.
Between Welch and Wilmot the duo have only scored two race finishes so far this year, and thus Welch is hoping for an upturn in fortunes at the high-speed Hampshire circuit this weekend.
“We really want to achieve something at Thruxton, which remains my favourite circuit, and there’s a lot of positivity and belief within the Welch Motorsport camp that our reliability issues are now in the past,” said Welch. “Both engines are back in our Proton Gen-2s following three days on the dyno and, while we still need to extract a bit more power from them, we’re effectively back to where we were at Brands Hatch in April 2014.
“The engines are better than they have ever been and I wouldn’t be surprised if I’m able to fight the top ten and Andy is in the thick of it with those other drivers who have yet to race at Thruxton.
“The fact is, Thruxton is an unforgiving track that demands respect and it’s one of the hardest circuits to master. Nevertheless, Andy has prepared well and recently took part in a track day to acclimatise to the track, so he should be primed and ready for the challenge ahead.”