There’s just a couple of days to go until Brands Hatch now, so it’s almost time for the talking to stop and the racing to begin. I’ve just come back from the gym tonight, so my preparation for the new season is in its final stages.
To be quite honest, testing has been fantastic. We tested at Rockingham on media day and we were left scratching our heads a bit as to how Colin Turkington had gone so quick in his BMW. But it’s subsequently become clear that he perhaps wasn’t running the right weights.
After Rockingham we went to Snetterton and then Brands Hatch. We had some good setup data for Brands from when we were there before, and also from last year. I’d done a 49.1 when we were there previously, but we had no-one to compare it to, so it was good to go quicker with a 48.9 when everyone else was there too.
We’re very confident now that we can go back and be at the front. I expect Colin to be exceptionally quick at Brands Hatch and I also expect Fabrizio to be very quick. The bullshit stops on Saturday afternoon and that’s when we really find out who has the pace. We’re confident with where we are. We know the pace that we have.
I think that Jason Plato coming back in with RML is very interesting. That had been kept very quiet. I think that car will win. With a team like RML and with Jason’s experience, that’s a winning combination. The car is exceptionally quick. When I drove it last year, I thought it was very, very good. That really throws something else into the mix because they’re a very strong outfit.
For me personally, I’d like to score 30 points. If we can score 30 points at every meeting, we’ll be there or thereabouts at the end of the year. It would obviously be nice to get a win, especially as it’s a local track for the team, but as long as we get some podiums it will be a good weekend. I think that’s achievable. It’s more achievable this year than it has been in any of the recent seasons.
I watched ITV’s BTCC crashes programme at the weekend. It was a good programme, it’s just a shame I had so man crashes on there. But I don’t think I had as many as Matt Neal. And my wheels tend to stay on the ground when I crash, while Matt seems to roll quite a lot. I don’t like watching some of my crashes. The big one at Thruxton was not nice. Hopefully there won’t be any of those at Brands Hatch this weekend!
I should have a new engine for this weekend. I blew an engine after about six laps when we tested at Snetterton and then the one I used at the Brands test was an old one with lots of miles on it so it wasn’t the best. So hopefully we should be quick.
We’ve got a shakedown tomorrow and hopefully I’ll spend a bit of time with my kids and then get an early night on Friday. My boys have been testing their karts in Wales today, so they won’t be home until quite late, so I’ll find out how it went tomorrow. They’re testing again on Saturday, but then they’re coming along to Brands on Sunday with Deborah to support me, which will be nice.
I’m really looking forward to the new season with Airwaves BMW. All that’s left for us to do now is to ‘kick up a gear’!