Girling gears up for BTCC bow
Former Renault Clio Cup team Finesse Motorsport has joined forces with Tech-Speed Motorsport, and signed up Joe Girling to pilot its S2000 Chevrolet Cruze. The team will run under the banner of sponsor M247 Racing.
With Tech-Speed having competed in the BTCC since the early Nineties, Team Boss Marvin Humphries adds a wealth of experience to Finesse Motorsport, which ran Jake Giddings in the Clio Cup last season. Humphries spoke confidently about the prospects for the year ahead: "Working with Finesse makes sense for us as a one car team. We believe the Cruze is still a very capable car, and are confident that Joe will soon settle in and find good results amongst the Jack Sears runners." Girling was able to complete a shakedown test of the car at Donington Park in December, and this new partnership has now cemented his place for the full 2013 season.
Neil Giddings from Finesse Motorsport also spoke to btcc.net about the prospect of racing in the championship: "The thought of moving into BTCC is extremely exciting for us, we ran Jake in the Clios last year and will continue to do so this year, which adds even more to the challenge. We are also looking forward to gaining some of the experience and knowledge Tech-Speed have built up over the years. It will be a learning curve for us, but one we are looking forward to."
22-year-old Girling will contest the newly-created Jack Sears Trophy this season, which has also seen the recent driver announcements of James Kaye, Liam Griffin and David Nye.
Hull racer Girling has previously competed in Britcar and the Clio Cup winter series, but is best known for his participation in the Dunlop-shod BARC Production Touring Car Trophy, where he was coached by triple BTCC champion Matt Neal. Girling himself recognises that his graduation to Britain’s premier racing series is set to provide a stiff challenge, but it’s one that he is looking forward to immensely.
“It’s quite daunting to be honest but it’s obviously very exciting too,” he said. “To be racing in the same events as the likes of Matt Neal and Jason Plato is a little surreal, but I’ll be aiming to keep my head down and produce some decent results. I am not one to make bold claims and I’m sure it will take me a little while to acclimatise to it all, but I am confident in my own ability and the Cruze is also a very capable car.”
Girling is now looking towards a schedule of test days as final preparation ahead of his maiden season in the BTCC. “We’re hoping to squeeze a day or so in after the official test at Donington Park. I did have a run in the car at Donington prior to Christmas but it was minus four degrees and to be honest it was hard to get a feel for the car. Hopefully, however, that will come with our test programme, so we’ll be ready for the opening round of the season.”
Sponsor internet infrastructure specialists M247 are supporting the team for the 2013 season, as Technical Director, Chris Byrd explains: “M247 operate some of the most technically advanced datacentres and networks in Europe, so it seemed appropriate for us to partner with an equally innovative and forward-thinking team. We wish Joe the best of luck for the season and we’re looking forward to seeing him in action.”
Photo Credit: Matt & Christine Lynham Photography