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Airwaves set for season opener
Airwaves set for season opener

Wrotham based Airwaves Racing are ready and raring to get the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship season underway at their home track.2014 BTCC Media day.

Brands Hatch plays host to the traditional curtain raiser this weekend as the 2014 season really gets underway.

With the Kent track less than a mile from the team’s workshop, the Motorbase-run outfit is going all out for podiums with returning two-time BTCC champion Fabrizio Giovanardi and Mat Jackson spearheading the Airwaves Racing squad’s assault on the 2014 championship title.

Last week’s official championship media day at Donington Park saw the Airwaves Racing and Crabbie’s Racing line up and liveries unveiled for the first time in front of a bumper crowd of media and eager BTCC fans.

With the highly anticipated return of touring car legend Fabrizio Giovanardi in the upgraded 2014 spec #7 Mountune powered Ford Focus ST after a four year absence from the championship; Team Principal David Bartrum confirmed a formidable Airwaves Racing driver line up for 2014 with the last minute return of fan’s favourite Mat Jackson to the Motorbase-run squad for a fifth season.

Talking about the pre-season testing and the season ahead, Giovanardi said: “At the start I was finding it difficult as it’s a complete different set of rules compared to Super 2000 when I left in 2009, then to be honest I have to learn how to understand the car and work out how does it meet my needs to the team so we just start off with difficulty, but I believe we’re ready for Brands Hatch now.

“Brands Hatch is a circuit where I have made some wins, it’s not my favourite circuit but it’s quite interesting because it’s very short so the lap time is close and I believe that there will be a lot of fighting for the first fifteen positions. It’s really unpredictable to guess on who will be the fastest car on there, but to me it’s just a surprise.  I will be waiting for the weekend and see what’s going on because for me I have to learn, I have to see the true level of the other cars.

“Motorbase is a good team; I know them from 2009 when I was fighting for the championship with Mat Jackson in the BMW. I believe that the team in the last three years have made some good results and they need to make the last jump you know, the last step to be in the fight for the championship so it’s why we’ve joined together to try and make the best to achieve the target.”2014 BTCC Media day.

In addition to the driver line-up changes; the Airwaves Racing squad has been hard at work at its Wrotham workshops over the close season rebuilding and developing the new 2014 spec Focus ST; which this year boasts a completely new aero package and significant improvements in all areas that should see the Focus ST challenging at the front of the pack.

Speaking ahead of the season, Team Manager Oly Collins said: “We’ve enjoyed a positive pre-season test programme with both the Airwaves Racing & Crabbie’s Racing teams and we go into the first round at our local circuit in a buoyant mood. That said, it’s looking like a very competitive grid this season and it’s not going to be easy. I’m sure our competitors are all confident too. It will be a very interesting first weekend discovering who has the edge.

“We’ve got a fantastic driver line up in our three cars this season. Fabrizio’s previous results speak for themselves and he’s clearly a fantastic addition to the team this year, he’s shown that already. Mat has been with us a long time and we know what each other is capable of and Jack has been really impressive in testing so we’re looking forward to a great start to the season.

“Everyone at Motorbase has worked incredibly hard over the winter to get to this point and I hope they can all be repaid with some great results at Brands Hatch.”

The opening three rounds of the 2014 season take place on the Indy circuit at Brands Hatch on March 29/30. Live coverage of Sunday’s events will be shown on ITV4, itv.com and also in HD from 10.30am – 6pm, with itv.com featuring live streaming online of Saturday’s qualifying session between 3.40 and 4.10pm.

Pictures supplied by  PSP Images