British Touring Car Championship Series Director Alan Gow swapped the sidelines for the cockpit at Snetterton yesterday [12th July] and tested HMS Racing’s Alfa Romeo Giulietta.
It marked the first time Gow, who has racing experience in his native Australia as well as taking part in several guest races in the UK, the most recent of which being the Citroen C1 24 hours at Rockingham earlier in 2018, has driven a modern BTCC car.
He took part in a thirty-minute run on softer specification Dunlop tyres after an invitation from regular driver Rob Austin, who was on hand to assist Gow during the session.
Gow – who shared the circuit with Tom Chilton, Andrew Jordan, Matt Neal, Tom Ingram and current standings leader Colin Turkington – posted the fourth best time of 2:07.299, ten seconds adrift of pace-setter Chilton’s Ford Focus RS.
The session is intended to form the basis of a feature in Autosport and Motorsport News later in the year.
“The speed on the straights is something that you can get used to quite easily, but the most impressive part of the car is the turn in and the braking, which is phenomenal, but I was nowhere near the limit of the car,” explained Gow.
“I was cautious in the high-speed corners like Riches and Coram – especially as it wasn’t my car – but was able to get a good feel for the ability of the car.”
“It was a great insight into how the cars work and the amount of effort the drivers have to put in – boy, it was hot inside the cockpit and I wasn’t anywhere the limit that you would need to be physically to get a really good lap time from the car,” he added.
“Having said that, I think I will stick to my day job of running the series. I am just glad I managed to bring the HMS Alfa Romeo back in one piece – and thanks to team boss Simon Belcher and Rob Austin for letting me loose.”
The championship reconvenes again at the Norfolk circuit after the summer break on July 28-29, with the weekend also playing host to the series’ ‘Diamond Double’ 60km race in celebration of six decades of competition.