BTC Norlin Racing making rapid progress
BTC Norlin Racing has undertaken a huge amount of work in preparation for its maiden BTCC season, but the rookie squad is on-track and ready for action.
The inevitable race against time is often a factor when new teams join the grid, but BTC Norlin has already been busy clocking up the miles ahead of a first campaign in Britain’s toughest championship.
The squad’s Chevrolet Cruzes were readied for a recent trip to Spain’s Parcmotor Castellolí for a week-long test, as they joined the likes of Halfords Yuasa Racing at the tight and twisty track, setting them up perfectly for the Season Launch run at Donington Park. An incredible effort there saw both cars come home inside the top ten – just reward for the hard graft during the winter.
“After completing our first test in the UK last week and of course the five days in Spain we are very happy with our progress in just 14 weeks,” commented BTC Norlin boss Bert Taylor.
“The team worked remarkably well to get us ready for Spain. The reliability was great, and it was even better for team building, so we’re looking forward to the the opening race weekend at Brands Hatch.”
Both BTC Norlin drivers are series returnees of sorts with Chris Smiley looking to contest his first full season in the BTCC, after a bit-part challenge in 2016, whilst race-winner Dave Newsham is back where he belongs after his own brief sabbatical last year.
Smiley came flying out of the blocks to finish the only official pre-season BTCC test in third, while Newsham was still an impressive ninth on the timesheets at Donington, resulting in BTC Norlin Racing as the only team to have two cars in the top ten.
“Dave and Chris both evaluated new parts that we took to Spain and left extremely happy, and we obviously enjoyed a good run yesterday. What more could we ask for at this stage?” continued Taylor.
Whilst the progress has so far been extremely rapid, Taylor is under no illusions as to the size of the task ahead and hopes to build steadily throughout the 2017 season.
“Looking forward as a team we’d like to get ourselves inside the top 15 and then into the top ten,” he concluded. “We want to try and build steadily over the course of the season, particularly as it’s our first year in the BTCC.
“We are delighted to be working closely with our sponsors at Norlin too. It’s their first time in the BTCC also, and you can’t find a better place to be than the BTCC!”
You can see BTC Norlin Racing and the rest of the packed 2017 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship grid at Brands Hatch on the 1/2 April for the opening rounds of the season.