The AmDTuning.com with Cobra Exhausts team will hope to challenge for more points finishes this weekend as the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship heads for Donington Park for the second meeting of the year.
The West Thurrock-based team made light of limited pre-season testing to show encouraging pace throughout the weekend at Brands Hatch two weeks ago, where it celebrated its first weekend as a full-time two-car team with a well earned points finish.
That points scoring result came thanks to Tamworth-based racer Ollie Jackson, who took a solid 14th place in race two and could well have added to his tally if not for contact in race three in Kent.
Heading into his ‘home’ event, Ollie will look to build on the huge progress made with his Audi S3 throughout the Brands Hatch weekend to push towards the points for the second meeting in succession, with confidence high about his chances on track.
“There’s no doubt we took huge steps forward with the car at Brands Hatch and I’m keen to see how the knowledge we gained translates into on track performance this weekend,” he said. “We know we have more to find with the car and the upgrades we now have in place, but I think we head to Donington Park in a good place and are looking to build on the progress we have made since we were there last month for Media Day.
“As we improve the car, it’s only natural that we are going to unlock more performance and having already shown strong race pace at Brands Hatch, we have to be aiming for more points this weekend.
“Hopefully we can have a bit more luck in qualifying to put us in a better position for race day, but I feel confident that we’ll be in the mix to add to our tally.”
Rookie team-mate Ant Whorton-Eales was unlucky not to score points himself at Brands Hatch, with a minor mechanical issue in race one and then an incident not of his own making in race two restricting him to a best finish of 23rd in the bumper 32 car field.
That result wasn’t a reflection of Ant’s pace however, with his speed in race one after an early pit-stop being particularly impressive as he ran comfortably with the midfield pack despite being a lap down after a pit stop.
The Lichfield racer has fond memories of Donington Park, with a double win last year having laid the foundations for his championship winning campaign in the Renault Clio Cup UK.
This time around, a first points scoring finish of the year is very much the aim, with Ant also hoping to make up ground in the race for the Jack Sears Trophy for top rookie driver.
“After a solid start to my time in the BTCC at Brands Hatch, I want to keep making improvements this weekend and try to consistently run inside the top 20,” he said. “I think we will be a lot stronger at Donington Park and it’s a circuit I really enjoy. A Jack Sears victory is the main target but it would also be brilliant if I could challenge for an overall points finish for the first time.
“I think I showed I had good pace at Brands Hatch and with the extra experience I now have, it’s something I think we could achieve.”
Team boss Shaun Hollamby insisted that there had been plenty of positives for the team to take away from the season opener, resulting in confidence being high going into the second meeting of the campaign.
“When you consider it was the first time we had run both cars in their full 2017-spec, Brands Hatch was a hugely positive weekend for us,” he said. “We were able to learn a lot and have worked on the cars since then to make more improvements ahead of Donington Park this weekend.
“Both Ollie and Ant showed good pace at Brands and we are keen to try and take a step forwards. Based on what we were able to achieve in round one with the little running we had done before the season started, I feel confident that we’ll be able to push forwards towards the top ten at some point during the three races and will certainly be in the mix for points.”