Adam Jones was one of a number of drivers to debut in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship in 2006, producing some impressive drives at the wheel of the Xero Competition Lexus IS200.

For the new season, interesting plans in the pipeline could see Jones establish himself as front runner on the BTCC grid in the first season for the Super 2000 rules.

Crash.net Radio caught up with Adam to try and find out more on those plans and also to look back on his first BTCC season...

Q:
Looking back over your debut campaign, you came into the series wanting to make an impression. How do you feel it went?

Adam Jones:
I think, like most championships, you have your ups and downs and unfortunately for us, we had more downs. We knew it wasn't going to be easy when we came into the championship and we needed to find a door that was open to us to be a part of the BTCC and at the time, the only option available was to join Xero with the Lexus. We knew we weren't going to win races, which is hard enough with a good car, but with one that wasn't proven we thought we'd give it a go and do the best that we could we what we had. We had some good results considering the circumstances with the performance of the Lexus, but there was disappointment in other ways that we failed to get the consistency.

Q:
What would have been your highlight from that first season in the BTCC?

Adam Jones:
There are two ways of looking at it. The highest point would have been scoring the first point at Donington Park and the highest 'moment' would be when I launched off the barrier at Silverstone in practice!!

Q:
Do you feel you achieved what you wanting from the year in terms of making people aware of who you were, when maybe they didn't know because your recent racing had been outside the UK?

Adam Jones:
I think we got what we wanted to a point. The results were never going to come like I was used to in GT racing, obviously I've done that for a number of years and had had some very good results. I'd done as much as I could with that side of my career and wanted to make a change and the BTCC door was open, we came into it and have got some good publicity from it. We have had to make a bit of a name for ourselves in the UK because I've spent so much time abroad; I'm a British driver who has spent time in every country you can imagine apart from the one I live in. Putting the performance of the car to one side, we had to maximise it in other ways and in terms of publicity and 'the show' as Alan Gow calls it, it has set us up well for 2007.

Q:
As a new driver, how welcomed were you made to feel by Alan Gow and his team?

Adam Jones:
I honestly can't knock anything or anyone involved with the BTCC. They are like a big family who welcome you with open arms and other drivers will tell you the same. Me and Mike Jordan have both said that you can't compare this championship to anything else, there is nothing else out there that is more welcoming from a sponsor point of view, from a driver point of view, from a team point of view - there is nothing to compare to it. In regards to Alan and his team within the BTCC, they have done a phenomenal job and you can understand why they figures continue to grow and grow each year because of what they do and the effort they put in. They want to make it work and it works for itself because it is such a great show and it is fantastic to be part of it.

Q:
Looking ahead to 2007 now, I understand there are interesting plans lined up that you can only say so much about at the moment, but how excited are you by what is in place?

Adam Jones:
Last season I was excited but this year I am mega excited. If the sponsorship deal comes off within the next few weeks like we hope it will, then that will be the final piece in the jigsaw. We have a car sorted, we have a team sorted and some of the sponsorship sorted. We are just finalising the rest and if it comes off it will be the biggest year I've had for a long time and put us in a much more competitive situation compared to last year and give us the chance to get some top results. I'd love to tell you about it now, I'm itching to tell the world, but it will be a big deal for me and my team around me, for my family and my friends - it'll be mega.

Q:
So with a proven package, this will be the chance to go from a season where you were establishing yourself to one where you are 'establishing' yourself in another way as a possible front runner...

Adam Jones:
Yeah, you could almost say from 'Xero' to hero considering I drove for Xero Competition last season! Obviously no disrespect to the team in saying that, it's just how it is with the name.

It is literally at the other end of the scale, we will go from running around in a car that wasn't as competitive as we would have liked it to be and as I'm sure the team would have liked it to be, to a proven package that will give me a chance to be at the front and scrap it out with the leaders. I should have a chance to be competitive.

Q:
With a proven package, how important would it be to take advantage of possible teething problems for other teams at the start of the year?

Adam Jones:
Obviously you have the likes of SEAT who don't need to do much to their car as they are already S2000 specification, although I'm sure they will make some modifications to their car and do their testing as normal. But at the other end of the scale, there is Matt Neal, double BTCC champion and independents champion and all of a sudden he has to change everything with a different car, different rules and different strategy for him. It will be difficult but he has the right team around him to make it work, he has done it before and I'm sure he will do again. However, it will take time for him to find his feet with a new specification of car that he isn't used to.

For me, it is massively important to have a proven car around me and a team that has been in a competitive situation before as I will have a competitive package to start with rather than having to try and make a package competitive as I did in 2006. It is a good situation to be in ahead of the season and the chance to do some testing, which I didn't do before we started at Oulton Park last year, means we are better prepared and should be competitive from the word go.

Q:
So you say you are waiting on sponsorship deals to be finalised, so when is the announcement likely to come?

Adam Jones:
I'd like to say by the end of January but it may be the first few weeks in February before we know things for certain. Obviously they understand the time scales involved and that we need to know so we can get the ball rolling further and plan our testing schedule. We just need to get as prepared as possible for a full season of racing.