Mike Rockenfeller is on pole for DTM premiere in Moscow –
Moscow. Mike Rockenfeller (Audi) is starting from pole position for the DTM premiere at Moscow Raceway. His fellow Audi driver Mattias Ekström will be lining up next to him in second place on the front row on the grid. The second row on the grid is a lock-out for BMW drivers: Augusto Farfus is starting from third place into the sixth round of the 2013 season, Bruno Spengler is fourth on the grid. DTM qualifying was stopped for safety reasons after the third qualifying heat. Air space above the circuit was closed at short notice. Therefore, a start of the rescue helicopter would have been impossible.
Warren Scott to run Team HARD-built NGTC machine for remainder of 2013 season –
2013 has already been an incredible year for the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship and the Next Generation Touring Car (NGTC) regulations. At the halfway point in the season, Warren Scott and Team BMR Restart took the decision to make the switch to an NGTC car earlier than originally planned, and its brand new VW Passat CC built and prepared by Team HARD was unveiled today (3 August) at Snetterton Circuit.
The unveiling was attended by a number of media as well as the ITV cameras shortly before Scott took to the circuit for the opening free practice session of the weekend. The Passat is not the only NGTC machine making its debut this weekend, as Andy Neate also adds to the ranks in the Team Club 44 Chevrolet Cruze.
Team BMR Restart will run the Passat but will receive support from Tony Gilham’s Team HARD squad, as they continue to work together to help develop the car for the remainder of the 2013 season. In the hands of Tom Onslow-Cole the Passat has already scored three podiums in its first season – an impressive record that Scott wants to go some way towards emulating.
The Restart-backed squad is based in Hertfordshire, and has run an S2000 specification SEAT Leon in the first half of 2013. Now Scott is moving into the fiercly contested NGTC class things will undoubtedly be challenging, but the ex-superbike rider showed great promise at a recent test session where he tried his hand behind the wheel of an NGTC car for the first time. Of the four different drivers that tested Team HARD’s second Vauxhall Insignia, Scott was the fastest, and both he and the team are aiming to carry this momentum into the race weekend.
The car will make its race debut in front of a huge crowd at Snetterton tomorrow for rounds 16, 17 and 18 of the championship. Many thousands more will be watching the action live and in high definition on ITV4.
Warren Scott said: “Everyone is smiling because it’s here! Team HARD has done an amazing job, we always knew it was going to be tight to get the car prepared in time, but they’ve managed it just like they have with all the cars they’ve built this year.
“I’m really looking forward to being a part of the NGTC battle, but obviously we’re being realistic, we’ve got a lot of practice to get under our belts to get up to speed. We found the Insignia pretty easy to get on with and hopefully it won’t take long to get this in the same place. We were looking forward to this for next year, we were having problems with the SEAT and I didn’t want to put money into a car that wasn’t going to be racing in 2014.
“Restart has been great – they’re a young company that are looking to the future with some new products coming soon and hopfully we’re going to grow together. Team BMR has been helping Team HARD getting the car ready and learning as much as they can in the process, as we both have the same outlook.”
Mark Turner, Team Principal for Team BMR Restart, said: “Everyone involved has done a cracking job to make this happen. Ourselves, Team HARD and the BTCC technical team have all been a massive help. The hours everyone has put in have been incredible – the guys have been working through the night for the last few days and now we’re set up for a good shakedown this weekend. We’re really looking forward to the challenge, but for this event we’ve just got to get the car sorted and set out our targets for the rest of the season.
“We’re grateful to have some data from the other Passat which gives us a base setup. We’re learning something new again, and this is a learning year for us ahead of the next two seasons of racing.”
Tony Gilham, Team Principal for Team HARD, said: “It has been a massive task for us to complete another car build in time for the Snetterton round. That’s now our fourth NGTC build in only six months. For a small family team like ourselves this is a huge achievement from all at Team HARD, to now be alongside Honda with four NGTC cars on the grid. The boys have worked tirelessly to make this happen and the relationship we have already formed with all the guys and girls at Team BMR Restart makes it even more rewarding.
“I would personally like to thank the faith Warren, Mark and the team has shown in us to give us the opportunity to team up with each other and we look forward to a long and successful relationship together.”