NEXT EVENT

Palmer excited for home outing

Support Our Paras Racing’s Derek Palmer is enjoying a home round at Knockhill in Fife this weekend, and as the tension builds ahead of qualifying today (22 August), btcc.net spoke to the Infiniti Q50 racer about his season to date and his plans for the remaining rounds of 2015…

The first year for any team in the BTCC is tough, but you must be delighted to have scored your first points last time out?
For sure it’s been a turbulent first half of the year for us, but now we’re focussed on putting that behind us, progressing the car and the package. To score some points at Snetterton was amazing, I felt we had the pace for a couple of rounds but never converted it into results. We’ve got to try and build on that here at Knockhill.

You’ll only be running one car for the remainder of the season, does this help your team focus on developing your package?
It’s no secret we’ve had problems with the second car and I think it’s sometimes difficult to explain to people what’s going on behind the scenes. It’s good to be able to focus on just the one car and not have to deal with any more dramas for the rest of the year! We’ve been able to share the workload between the guys now – fourteen months ago these guys had never even seen a touring car and I couldn’t be more proud of what they’ve achieved so far.

Your team is undoubtedly unique in the world of motor sport – how has it been working alongside the Paras and what’s the plan for the rest of the year?
From now to the end of the year it’s about continuing to build experience and skills, and show to everyone the brilliant work that the charity is doing with them and what this is doing for the charity. BTCC makes that all possible – it’s such a hands-on championship for the fans, that’s what attracts us to it. They can come and see the guys doing what they do and how they’re achieving these great things.

Do you have a home advantage this weekend?
It is exciting to be here – despite now living in Switzerland, Knockhill is about 40 minutes from where I grew up so it really is a home weekend for me. It doesn’t really make you any faster, but having all the friends and family here really gives you an extra boost. I think Knockhill will suit us, definitely better than Snetterton, and I think qualifying will be absolutely pivotal.