Scott to make BTCC debut
The Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship will be greeted with a familiar sight in 2013, as the popular Seat Leon is back on the grid with rookie Warren Scott at the helm. Scott, whose background lies mostly in motorcycle racing, will race for BMR Restart and contest the Jack Sears Trophy for cars still running the older S2000 specification.
Despite his relative inexperience on four wheels, Warren knows all the major British circuits very well, and had a successful season last year in the Lotus Cup UK series. btcc.net spoke to him in the lead up to the crucial official test at Donington Park this Thursday (21 March) – here’s what he had to say…
How did you find making the switch from two to four wheels?
The truth is I get exactly the same enjoyment and level of competition without half as much risk. I’d had a few big crashes in my last motorbike season, so mentally I felt much more confident getting into a car to go racing.
It’s going to be a big step up for you going into the BTCC – what are you most looking forward to and how have you prepared for the challenge?
I ran in the Lotus Cup last year which was a lot simpler, but there were still some good drivers. I’m under no illusions about the scale of the task ahead, and I'm not expecting to go out there and immediately be at the sharp end. What I do want to achieve is a steady progression so that I’m challenging the best of the S2000 cars by the end of the season. Pretty much the whole team have come across from racing the bikes, so we all know what we’re doing and we’re all well prepared. You’d be surprised how many of the engineering skills are transferable between two and four wheels, and I also know all the tracks very well from years of racing bikes.
The Seat Leon will undoubtedly be a popular addition to the grid – how did the drive come about?
The car was actually racing in the Belgian series when we bought it. It’s a fantastic looking thing – I had the choice between that and a Vectra and just had to go for the Seat. We’ve brought in some great people with lots of experience to help us with the engines and making sure it complies with the regulations. Let’s just hope it’s as fast as it looks!
The recent weather has affected several teams' testing programmes – have you run into similar issues?
We certainly haven’t done as much testing as we’d have liked to, but as you say most of the teams are in the same boat. We’ve been out a couple of times – we were at Brands Hatch last week at the same time as eBay Motors and Airwaves Racing, but didn’t get much running in because of an electrical fault. We’ve now tracked it down to a software issue, so everything should be sorted for the test on Media Day.
The Jack Sears Trophy looks to be shaping up nicely now – even though you’re keeping your expectations grounded could you see yourself taking a few of the Jack Sears Cups (awarded to the highest placed S2000 car each race) this season?
We’d like to ‘win’ a few races for sure. There’s going to be some great racing going on all the way through the field, and we’ll have a big challenge ahead. As long as we get stuck in to all the races and learn as much as possible then the results will start to come. We’re going to be building an NGTC car over the course of the season so we’ll put everything we learn into that as well.
So you’re in BTCC for the long game?
We’re in a very fortunate position having our main sponsor Restart on board for a multi-year deal. If all goes to plan we may even field two cars next season, but we’ll definitely have one to NGTC specifications. The BTCC is a fantastic series – it’s well organised, has a great following and we want to be in it for the long term.
You can see Warren in his Seat Leon this Thursday (21 March) at Donington Park for the official Media Day test. Entry is free to the public from 12pm.