Wild, wet and windy - BTCC testing at Oulton Park
Wednesday saw an open test day at Oulton Park in Cheshire which included Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship drivers Andrew Jordon, Rob Austin and Matt Simpson.
The day dawned with incredibly heavy rain and the teams were quick to opt for a wet setup to get those all-important miles in and gather the data which that brings ahead of the start of the 2016 BTCC season. Matt Simpson was first out in his Simpson Race Exhausts ex-Gordon Shedden Honda Civic Type R that is being run by Speedworks Motorsport in his debut season.
Next out was Andrew Jordan in his Motorbase Performance Ford Focus. Former BTCC Drivers' Champion Jordan immediately looked very quick even in the rain which at times left the track looking more like a boating lake as several other cars miscalculated the tricky Island section, parking themselves in the thick mud some way off the circuit.
There was then a bizarre moment when Jordan spun, causing his Focus to go across the grass and then pit. After 20 seconds with a hosepipe the car was as good as new, but for some reason the marshals thought he had crashed and refused to allow him out again until he had been signed off in the medical centre, needlessly wasting valuable track time. "It's ridiculous." Jordan commented as he sprinted off to the medical centre as the team were left scratching their heads in disbelief. He returned 5 minutes later with a clean bill of health and was soon back out on track.
Rob Austin was last out in his Duo sponsored Handy Motorsport Toyota Avensis where he too looked good in the tricky conditions. Both Rob and Matt will be out again tomorrow at Rockingham where we will be joining them and Team Dynamics for some more pre-season action.
Matt Simpson is clearly enjoying his conversion to the BTCC car and his times and feedback are getting better with every outing. "It is going well at the moment and the car is just immense. Every session is a learning curve, but we are building our confidence and knowledge all the time and looking forward to the season." he said. Rob Austin also seems to be enjoying his lack of team responsibilities, just concentrating on his racing. "I'm loving it." he said. "The guys are great and the car is good too. I can't wait for Media Day, just being able to drive is going to be so much fun!"
There is more testing this week and next week and we will bring you the news as it happens.
Published 9 March 2016