Track debut for Infiniti Support Our Paras Racing
The Infiniti Support Our Paras Racing BTCC car ran for the first time at Mallory Park this morning (Wednesday).
Derek Palmer took the honour of debuting the car as the Scotsman completed a detailed, scheduled number of installation and shakedown laps.
The premium Japanese marque worked tirelessly in an attempt to ready its pair of Q50s in time for Brands Hatch although admitted it faced a huge challenge ahead of the weekend.
There will certainly be one of the striking machines on the grid in Kent, however, as Palmer progressively worked through the development programme on the first car this afternoon. The car, prepared by injured ex-servicemen from the Parachute Regiment, went on to complete a series of race-pace laps at the Leicestershire track.
“We completed everything we set ourselves for this first running,” team principal Derek Palmer Snr said. “The guys did a fantastic job preparing the car, and it was an emotional moment seeing it take to the track for the first time.
“Everyone in the team has worked tirelessly to get to where we are. We know we’re a work-in-progress, but we know we have the team to deliver.”
The not-for-profit team, which will also run Richard Hawken in a second NGTC Infiniti Q50, will donate 100% of its profits to Support Our Paras, the official charity of the Parachute Regiment. The team had planned to run a second car in this weekend’s opening triple-header, but will now only run one at Brands Hatch.
“We experienced a late technical problem today which, after detailed analysis, has unfortunately resulted in the second car now not being in a position to race at Brands Hatch,” Palmer Snr explained.
“Of course it’s disappointing, but this is exactly what test sessions such as today’s are intended to discover before we head into a race weekend. We can now take the necessary steps to ensure the same problem doesn’t materialise in the other car.”
The team will decide later this week whether Palmer Jnr or team-mate Richard Hawken, will race at the weekend. After driving the car for the first time today, under cloudless blue skies, Palmer admitted he was delighted to finally get behind the wheel of the BTCC racer.
“I’ve dreamed about this day for so long,” the 28-year-old Scot said. “Today is the culmination of six months hard work for the team.
“We set ourselves a specific programme today, and we worked through the process and ticked off all the boxes, so we’re happy with where we are as we head towards the first race at Brands Hatch.”