Stewart Lines says the upgrade in his CUPRA TCR from a DSG gearbox to a sequential unit means he can now fight his closest rivals in this weekend’s TCR UK meeting at Brands Hatch.
The Maximum Motorsport racer ended the opening warm-up session eighth on the timesheets, 0.917 seconds adrift of pace-setter Ollie Taylor’s Honda Civic Type R FK7.
He did, however, set his best lap on his final run, with Lines stating that increased tyre degradation due to expected searing temperatures at the 1.2 mile Indy circuit this weekend will suit his driving style and give him an edge.
“The car is competitive now, it’s a massive improvement. I feel like we can race the people around us,” said Lines to TouringCars.net.
“The longer the race is, and the worse the tyres get, the better it is for me, because I’m used to driving on scrap tyres, whereas I think some of the people I’m racing with might have the luxury of new ones. That’ll suit me; I don’t mind the car moving around a bit.”
He also admitted some time remains on the table whilst he adjusts to the lower gear ratios in the sequential unit, believing he can make up another half-second before qualifying this afternoon.
“It looks like we can lose a bit of weight because we put too much ballast in and I’m getting used to which gear to use, because the ratios are lower in the sequential,” he added.
“We’re either in too high or too low a gear, I think if I get that balance right, there’s another half a second in me.
“I’d be happy to get into the top six. I think that’d be a good result, to come back and do that.”