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Tom Chilton debuts petrol-turbo Ford Focus at Brands Hatch

Thursday, November 11 2010

The Team Aon Ford Focus of Tom Chilton was one of several touring cars to test at Brands Hatch this week, as the squad trialled its new petrol turbo engine for the first time.

New 'Next Generation Touring Car' regulations come into force in the British Touring Car Championship next season, and Team Aon principal Mike Earle has chosen to build a petrol engine to these specifications after running LPG power in 2010.

Chilton notched up more than 100 laps of the Indy circuit this week in the team's one day test, and this year's Independent drivers title holder was impressed by the car's initial performance.

"Moving to a petrol engine makes the overall weight of the car that little bit lighter and initially I'd say that enables it to stop, turn and accelerate quicker," Tom told btcc.net. "Nor did it miss a beat, which is testament to the work done by everyone. I'm a happy boy."

Mike Earle added: "We are right back to stage one and having to learn again, but for a kick-off it was quite encouraging - closer to a satisfactory performance on its first run in this guise than when we first tried LPG."

Other tin top teams to have tested at Brands Hatch this week include BTCC squads WSR and Motorbase and World Touring Car outfit Chevrolet, who ran their 2011-spec Cruze with Rob Huff at the wheel.

Tickets for the 2011 British Touring Car Championship at MSV circuits will go on sale shortly.