BTCC PRIZE TEST SEES GOODYEAR CHAMPIONS STAR AT SNETTERTON
Goodyear, official tyre supplier of the 2021 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship, gave a quartet of champions from Goodyear-supported national series an opportunity to test one of the BTCC grid’s Motorbase Performance-run Ford Focus STs earlier this week.
MB Motorsport accelerated by Blue square driver Ollie Jackson accompanied the drivers during the day, as the titleholders got to grips with the race-winning machine around Snetterton’s 2.97-mile circuit.
Joining Jackson was 2021 TCR UK champion Lewis Kent and 2020 Focus Cup titleholder Andy Godfrey, as well as TOCA paddock regular and 2021 MINI CHALLENGE champion Dan Zelos, while 2021 BRSCC Fiesta Championship winner Rob Smith was unable to attend and the opportunity was consequently passed on to series runner-up Luke Pinder.
The annual test day, which was formed in 2012 with the goal to display some of the best talent in British motorsport, has seen a number of drivers graduate onto the BTCC grid over the years, including three-time champion Ash Sutton.
Having made no secret of his intention to join Britain’s premier motorsport series, Zelos reflected:
“It was pretty surreal, to be honest – a very special day, and a great reward for all the hard work we have put in. Having never driven the Ford before, I was really pleased with my pace straight out of the box, especially considering the car had been deliberately set up to be very ‘safe’ given the conditions. It was a lot of fun to drive, and it’s pretty clear why it’s a race-winner.
“Looking forward, the BTCC is 100 per cent where I want to be – it has been since I first joined the TOCA package in Ginetta Juniors – and this test has further whetted my appetite and fuelled that fire. Big thanks to Motorbase Performance and Goodyear for such an amazing opportunity.”
After his second session of the day, Pinder said:
“It was really good, I really enjoyed it. A massive thanks to Goodyear, Motorbase Performance and Rob Smith [2021 BRSCC Fiesta Championship winner] for letting me come in his place. The car is completely different [to the Fiesta.] It’s not even comparable!”
Motorbase Performance Team Manager Oly Collins added:
“We had a very successful Goodyear prize drive test on Wednesday at Snetterton. I was delighted with the approach from all four drivers. They each took on board the instructions well – and in extremely tricky, damp conditions – drove impeccably throughout the day. We probably shouldn’t be surprised each year at the ability and professionalism of these drivers as the prize is there to reward Goodyear Champions. They’ve earned the chance to do this and so often do it very well.
“The four drivers are each in different stages of their career, which is what I find so great about this programme. Some use this as a stepping stone to the next stage of their careers and some treat it as a dream come true and just relish the chance they’ve been given. Either way, it’s designed for the drivers to enjoy it and take something away which will help them in the next stage of their Motorsport experience. All four drivers were a credit to their championships and a joy to work with.
“The prize drive is a fantastic reward offered by Goodyear in conjunction with Motorbase Performance which has been running now since 2012 offering a variety of drivers the chance to experience a day with a BTCC team. They get to experience not just the driving side of a BTCC car but also how a team works at this level what the team has at its disposal in the BTCC.”