HARD work continues at Snett
As is the case up and down the pit-lane with every team out testing at Snetterton this week, Team HARD are seeking to learn and collect as much data as is possible in a bid to pick up morsels of time wherever they can find them.
On Wednesday, the opening day of the yearly two-day outing at the Norfolk venue during the traditional mid-season break, both Jake Hill and Will Burns took to the track in two of the outfit’s trio of Volkswagen CCs, with Mike Epps set to take the reigns in the other tomorrow. The third car was today fielded by Chris Milford – a familiar face to the squad, as part of its GT effort.
A late lap from Hill saw him just 0.012s shy of Jack Goff at the top of the times in the second session, topping off what was by all accounts a fruitful day’s work for Team HARD.
“This has been the most productive test I’ve ever done in the BTCC,” said Hill. “We’ve got a new engineering side to our team – two new guys who are doing a great job and we’re all getting on extremely well.
“I feel like I can finally focus on driving the car and these guys can focus on what they do best. I’m over the moon as we’ve already learnt so much already today. This is good news for me and for everyone in the team.
“It’s always hard to make any real concrete judgements during testing when it comes to comparing times, although it is nice to be up there – obviously. Jack Goff and Tom Ingram’s sector times for example are good, but they’re easing off here and there so that they don’t show their hand.
“We’ve been running on Croft tyres so far, so they’re pretty worn, but at some point we’ll put some new boots on the car and really push.
“It hasn’t really gone our way so far this season, and we’ve been taken out far too often which I haven’t enjoyed one little bit, but now with the car improving we hope to get nearer the front and away from the problems.”
Team Principal Tony Gilham added: “We had a frantic pre-season in bringing the VWs up to the latest spec and it has been a whirlwind first half of the year.
“I think this is the first time in our short three-year history that we’ve had a proper two days of testing. We’ve arrived here with a proper programme, with experienced and new engineers on board, and we’re hoping to make some serious progress here.
“Michael Epps will be back in the car tomorrow but we believe Chris Milford was very deserving of the drive today. He’s been a stalwart already – worked with the team last year, races in VWs, and engineers our cars in British GT and Britcar. It’s all quite new to him but he’ll pick it up fast.
“The bigger our team gets the easier it becomes as we’ve got some really good people around us now.”