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BTCC teams and drivers take part in Brands Hatch group test

Monday, March 13 2017

Several Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship teams and drivers got the chance to compare performance in a group test at Brands Hatch today (Monday), ahead of the opening rounds on 1/2 April.

Teams testing included multiple champions Honda Racing with a new livery, plus local title challengers Motorbase, the Ford Focuses of Team Parker, Kent-based Team HARD and Eurotech.

Reigning champion Gordon Shedden was joined by fellow triple champion Matt Neal and new team-mate Matt Simpson, who tried out the Halfords-liveried cars whilst his own car is being rebuilt following a recent testing shunt in Spain.

Neal can't wait to get back into action this April. "I'm looking forward to it," he said. "The car feels good but the field looks strong.

"We're running the same cars in the same shape that we've run for a couple of years now. We haven't been standing still over the winter, but with the nature of the regulations no-one's going to find massive leaps, so it's just trying to iron out all the wrinkles before round one.

Team Parker's line-up included the Maximum Motorsport car, which MG refugee Josh Cook will be racing after sealing a last-minute deal to return to the grid. He was happy to be back in a BTCC car alongside many of his rivals as well as the support categories. "We've have some Ginetta Juniors out on track as well, which must be terrifying for them," he joked.

"It's good to get a guide of where we are, get the stopwatch out on a few of the other cars, so it's been a good day. The weather's perfect, and it's cool to have a few fans out."

Local racer Jake Hill was also making his first 2017 test appearance in the Team HARD VW CC, a car which the team debuted in the BTCC four years ago. "It's nice to come home for the first test and see how we're getting on," Hill said.

"It's also nice to run with cars that we're going to race against, so that's great. We've got the media and official test day on Thursday and that's where everyone will have a bit of realisation where everyone is, but I'm feeling confident."

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Tickets for the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at Brands Hatch on 1/2 April are available from £27, with free entry for under-13s. For more information or to book, call 0843 453 9000 or click here .