Wilmot ready for BTCC season opener
Wilmot ready for BTCC season opener

Joint Team Principal of the new Trade Price Cars Racing Andy Wilmot is looking forward to the lights going out for the start of the Kwifit British Touring Car Championship.

With the covers taken off the team’s Audi’s at Media and both Jake Hill and Mark Blundell’s cars looking good and Hill was quick at Brands Hatch also.

Speaking about the car and the media day test, Andy said: “We have changed our livery a few times! We had the livery at Autosport then the Testing livery and the final livery at media day. There has been a lot of design changes due to sponsors so we finished up with a simple yet catching design that accommodates all.

“We are extremely excited for this season. Good pace has been shown while testing and also at media day and we can’t wait for it all to get started at Brands Hatch.”

The team has an interesting driver line-up with a young yet experienced BTCC racing driver, and an experienced driver yet in experienced BTCC driver, but a line-up that Andy believes will work well for the team.

He added: “You have Jake Hill with the team who is experienced in the BTCC and then you have an ex F1 racing legend making his debut in the series with Mark Blundell.

“As you mentioned Jake is experienced in BTCC so it will be easier for him to get to grips with it all than Mark despite all of his F1 and GT experience. The BTCC car is a fantastic machine but very difficult to drive. I do however feel both our drivers will work very well together given their previous racing experience and no doubt learn from each other.”

This year Andy took part in media day as a Team Principal for the first time, which is a totally different experience for him to when he was a driver in the series.

“The media day was just amazing. Everything went so well for us. The cars ran perfectly and we used the free test to our advantage and learned so much about the car setup for Brands Hatch. We had some very warming comments about the professionalism of our team and how great it looked.

“It’s very different being a Team Principal than a Driver at media day. I think both roles are a little stressful but in a different way. I worry about the running of the team and its presentation and the driver is being demanded on by media for pictures and interviews as well as focusing on the driving.”

The testing was very positive for the team as both cars took to the track and gives them plenty of positives for the season ahead.

He said: “Testing was very productive. For Mark the seat time is extremely important, every time he gets in the car he progresses further. Jake also used the media day to his advantage and made changes that complemented both him and the car and saw out the media day in 7th overall. We are very pleased but you can never have enough testing as you never stop learning.”

We asked Andy what his targets were for the season for the team and whether they had reassessed them with their performance at media day.

He added: “Our aims are the same. Jake for consistent top 10 finishes and hopefully some podiums. Mark to finish consistently in the points.”

As the lights go out on the grid for the first race of the season we asked Andy what it would be like sat on the pit wall rather than on the grid.

He said: “There is always going to be a burning desire to be in the car but when the lights go out on the gantry the butterflies will still be there if I’m in the car or on the pit wall.”

Images courtesy of www.pspimages.co.uk