The BTCC Test Day at Donington Park: Analysis and Insights

During the recent BTCC test day at Donington Park, the four-time title winner, Ash Sutton, showcased his dominance by taking his NAPA-liveried Alliance Racing Ford Focus ST around the East Midlands circuit with a clear lead of 0.098 seconds over his team-mate Dan Cammish in the afternoon session. Despite the challenging weather conditions that included a thunderstorm, Sutton managed to express satisfaction with his progress. However, he mentioned that the lap times were somewhat irrelevant as they were mainly focused on going through a testing program and making changes to the car.

The morning session saw 2022 champion Tom Ingram leading the pack in his Excelr8 Motorsport Hyundai i30 N Fastback, outpacing his team-mate Tom Chilton by 0.271 seconds. Although Ingram’s impressive time secured him the top spot in the morning, it was Chilton who emerged as the third fastest in the afternoon session, trailing behind the two dominant Fords driven by Sutton and Cammish. Ingram, despite slipping to sixth in the afternoon, managed to maintain a strong fourth position overall on the day.

The squadron of Speedworks Motorsport-run Toyota Corolla GR Sports made its presence known with Rob Huff setting the best lap of the day in the morning session. The 2012 World Touring Car champion’s effort landed him in third place for the session and seventh overall for the day. The consistency and competitive edge displayed by the Speedworks Motorsport team hinted at a promising season ahead in the BTCC.

The BTCC test day also provided insights into the changing landscape of the competition, with Team Hard undergoing a rebirth under the name of Unlimited Motorsport with new ownership. Despite the transition, Team Hard’s presence was still felt at Donington Park through the one-car Cupra Leon effort led by Daryl DeLeon. On the other hand, WSR entered its fourth BMW without naming a driver, signaling ongoing efforts to secure a deal to have Bobby Thompson on the grid for the upcoming season.

Power Maxed Racing Adapts Strategy for the Season Ahead

Power Maxed Racing chief Adam Weaver shared plans to streamline the team to two Vauxhall Astras for the upcoming season. With Aron Taylor-Smith and Mikey Doble set to pilot the Astras, the decision was influenced by the limited number of drivers with the budget to participate in the BTCC. This strategic adjustment underlines the importance of financial considerations in shaping team decisions for the competitive season.

The BTCC test day at Donington Park offered a glimpse into the competitive landscape of the upcoming season. From Ash Sutton’s commanding performance to the strategic adaptations of teams like Power Maxed Racing, the event provided valuable insights into the readiness and determination of the participants. As the anticipation builds for the opening round back at Donington on 27-28 April, fans can expect an exhilarating season filled with thrilling races and fierce competition in the BTCC.


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