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Cole keen to push on

Subaru Silverline BMR Racing’s James Cole recently completed two solid days of testing as preparations for the 2017 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship gather pace.

Cole enjoyed trouble free runs at Donington Park – the scene of his fiery moment earlier in the year – as the multiple race-winning outfit looks to make up for lost time.

“We’ve managed to get a lot of mileage in across the two days,” he said. “We’re carrying out all of the things that we’d liked to have done pre-2016 and it has gone really well. It hasn’t been about lap times but more about trying set-ups A, B and C, working out what works and what doesn’t. Of course, we practically missed the first three events of the year so it’s also good to get some solid data at Donington.

“It’s mainly for the benefit of the team but of course I’m learning too, any time behind the wheel is valuable. Mileage is always positive and sampling the 2017 Dunlop tyre has also been beneficial, it seems to be a very good stable tyre.

“We did lots of eight lap runs and I provided feedback on each of the set-ups. Like I say, we weren’t necessarily chasing lap times but we were able to lap quicker than Colin Turkington’s lap from earlier in the season.”

BMR’s quartet of Subarus performed extremely well in the latter half of the season, with Colin Turkington and Jason Plato spearheading the squad’s title challenge. Cole and stablemate Warren Scott often played a supporting role, but the former British Formula Ford champion is keen to push on.

“I was the newbie in the team this year,” continued Cole. “Building relations is so important, more than people realise I think, and it takes time. The relationship is really strong at this point and knowing the team trusts my feedback means a lot. I’ve improved a lot since we were last here in April, which is down to a number of factors, but confidence and experience is key.

“Having Jason (Plato) and Colin (Turkington) as team-mates brings positives and negatives but it can hit your confidence. They’re both world class drivers who can probably jump straight into any car and be quick, while I needed time to relax, develop and improve.

“I didn’t always get the results that my pace deserved, and again experience played its part, particularly when making the right calls during qualifying, which is why we have a good off-season of preparation taking place.”

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