Interview : Nash - I want to be a championship contender
Mon 28th March 2011 James Nash will race for Triple Eight Race Engineering with Collins Contractors in the 2011 BTCC. We caught up with him ahead of the new season.
By Matt Lamprell
James Nash has contested two part-seasons in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship, but now the 25 year-old is set for his first full year in the series, driving an NGTC-engined Vauxhall Vectra for Triple Eight Race Engineering.
"There's a first time for everything", said an enthusiastic Nash. "We've done two part-seasons previously, so it will be nice to do a full one. We'll have a test before Brands as well, so it's the most I've ever had the chance to do before a touring car season."
Nash made his BTCC debut in 2009 when he drove an RML-run Chevrolet Lacetti, before joining Triple Eight in 2010 – replacing former BTCC champion Fabrizio Giovanardi.
The highlight of Nash's brief BTCC career has been a pair of visits to the podium – at Silverstone in 2009 and Oulton Park in 2010.
"The chassis was good last year", said Nash. "But, I think the engine let us down a bit towards the back end of the year. We've got the new turbo engine this year, so as long as we sort out the extra weight over the front end and deal with the torque, I think we'll be all right."
While Nash is driving the same car this year as in 2010, the switch to a turbo NGTC engine could provide the Triple Eight Race Engineering team with a significant boost.
"I wouldn't be here if I didn't think it was a step in the right direction. The team has done a good job with the cars – it's been a hard winter trying to get everything done; installing the engine and making sure everything is ready. Budget has been tight, but we're here and we'll be ready for Brands Hatch."
Nash is hopeful that his first full season in the BTCC will be his most successful so far and he is keen to show the rest of the paddock what he is capable of.
"I want to win races." That's the ambitious statement from the Buckinghamshire-based racer. "We certainly want to be in the top eight and scoring point all the time.
"I want to be a championship contender. We've certainly got the engine to be able to deal with it so it's up to us now to put it all together."
James Nash set the second quickest laptime in last week's media day test session at Silverstone.