Up next for the BTCC is Thruxton, the UK’s fastest race circuit for what promises to be an action packed weekend of racing.
We will be there too – out on track with Sam Osborne behind the wheel of the Tool Maniac sponsored MG along with Rob Smith in the Draper Tools sponsored MG. You will also be able to find us in the trading area where you are invited to come a talk to us about tools and racing.
And for the first time this season you will be able to purchase products from our store, meaning if you see it and want it – you can now have it!
With national next day delivery available it’s not just Sam and Rob who are revving things up at Thruxton!
We caught up with Sam to get his thoughts on the weekend ahead, discuss the season so far and goals for the rest of the season.
Sam: “I know Thruxton pretty well, having raced there in both Renault Clios and Minis. It’s a great circuit and so, so fast. Having the test day there recently definitely helped us to acclimatise. My goal for the weekend is to be close to Rob, and there wasn’t much between the two cars time-wise during the test. The suspension changes we made at Donington really helped to settle the car down through high-speed corners, and that will be vital for Thruxton where it’s flat-out for a lot of the lap and the last thing you want is a car that’s unpredictable and hopping around. I’m confident I can go there and continue to improve and be in the mix.”
Every second of track time is vital for any team trying develop their cars but even more vital for new teams within the BTCC. With two heavily reworked MG6 GT cars, two drivers completely new to the BTCC and a fresh technical crew, being ready with competitive cars for the first three races at Brands Hatch was always going to be tough.
“Brands Hatch was basically like a test, just to get used to how the weekends work and how the races would be, and it was good to be out there and able to get into the mix with other cars for the first time. I’m always hoping for more. It’s tough to make prediction in a 30-car grid that’s as tight at the BTCC, but I need to be aiming at the top 20, and see where I can progress from there.”
For Sam, his last visit to Thruxton provided plenty of frustration and little track time – a paltry 2 hours in total.
Sam added: “Thruxton gave me a good two hours in the car, and while that might not sound like much, any mileage at this point is hugely useful for the learning curve. I’m learning about every little bit of the car and trying to build up the processes to be more of a natural reflex, so I can improve my driving and just do things without thinking about it.
However following on from his debut at Brands Hatch and a further three races at Donington, Sam is optimistic as we head to Thruxton.
Sam said: “We’re definitely getting there with the car and I’m getting more and more comfy in the car each time I go out. We’ve made a setup breakthrough on this car and it feels totally different now. Previously, going into heavy braking zones I couldn’t get the car to settle when the weight was on the nose, which made corner entry difficult. But the guys have looked at the suspension and it’s now so much better.”
With this breakthrough made, Sam is hopeful of a competitive debut season ahead.
“I think it will be a learning year all round for us. I know EXCELR8 well from my time in the MINI CHALLENGE, and I’ve raced against Rob Smith for a few years, too. However, the MG6 GTs will be a new challenge to both the team and us drivers. But we all work well together, so I expect us to be able to put together a solid debut season. Personally, I want to get myself into the thick of the grid as soon as I can, and then look to start fighting for places in the top 10 and see where we can go from there.”
Why not join us a Thruxton this weekend and support Sam as he takes to the track. We look forward to seeing you there!